KPK Collaborates with Government Agencies to Create a Fair Election Free from Vote-Buying

Jakarta, July 20, 2023 | 13:40 WIB: In collaboration with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kemenkominfo), the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu), and the General Election Commission (KPU), the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has launched a joint campaign called “Hajar Serangan Fajar” (Defeat the Dawn Attacks). This cultural approach aims to combat the practice of vote-buying and ensure a just and clean electoral process in Indonesia.

As Indonesia gears up for the 2024 general elections, a five-yearly democratic event, voters will not only choose representatives for the central and regional parliaments (legislative election) but also elect the president and vice president (presidential election) to lead the nation for the next five years. Additionally, 271 regions will hold regional head elections (pilkada), involving 24 provinces electing governors and vice governors, 56 cities selecting mayors and vice mayors, and 115 regencies voting for regents and vice regents. The Electoral Commission (KPU) data indicates that there are 205,853,518 registered voters in Indonesia for the 2024 elections, spread across 514 districts/cities, 7,277 sub-districts, 83,860 villages, and 823,287 polling stations nationwide and abroad. Their votes will be contested by numerous participants in the legislative, presidential, and regional elections, making it the largest simultaneous democratic event in the country’s history.

However, the prevalent practice of vote-buying continues to stain the electoral process, with some candidates resorting to instant gratification to secure victories and gain parliamentary seats or leadership positions in their respective regions. A study conducted by the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Gadjah Mada University (UGM) revealed that the culture of vote-buying has deeply permeated Indonesia’s democratic processes.

In line with these findings, a 2018 study by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) showed that 72 percent of voters admitted to receiving money or gifts in exchange for their votes. Wawan Wardiana, Deputy for Education and Community Involvement at KPK, stated, “Vote-buying, also known as ‘dawn attacks,’ has become a significant problem in the political sector and often leads to corruption.”

To address this issue, the anti-corruption agency initiated the “Hajar Serangan Fajar” campaign on July 14, 2023, as a call to all citizens, especially those participating in the 2024 elections, to reject, avoid, and shield themselves from the allure of vote-buying during the democratic contest.

KPK firmly believes that elections are a celebration of Indonesia’s democracy, where the people exercise their sovereignty, and their voices are akin to the voice of God. Thus, through elections, the nation determines its fate for the next five years.

The campaign for honest, clean, and fair elections represents a commendable cultural approach to counter electoral crimes like vote-buying. The Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) has already identified points of vulnerability to vote-buying during the campaign, candidate nomination, voting period, and vote counting.

Based on the KPK’s 2018 study, the potential for corruption in elections revealed that 95 percent of voters were influenced by the candidates’ wealth, 72.4 percent by their social media activities, and 69.6 percent by their popularity. Over the past 15 years, candidates have increasingly utilized social media to campaign and “market” their visions and missions. The internet-savvy Indonesian population, with approximately 78.19 percent of internet users aged between 18 and 34, represents a significant demographic of young voters. The KPU member, August Mellaz, reported that around 107 million people fall into the young voter category, ranging from 17 to 40 years old.

Taking these factors into account, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo), joining forces with the anti-corruption agency, has warmly welcomed the “Hajar Serangan Fajar” campaign. Usman Kansong, Director-General of Information and Public Communication at Kominfo, announced that they would deploy various communication channels to reach the masses.

“We will utilize billboards in all government ministries/agencies/local governments. We will collaborate with telecommunication companies to send WhatsApp blasts to the public, enabling us to launch a massive campaign to all corners of Indonesia,” said the Director-General.

All these efforts are dedicated to upholding democracy and ensuring a fair, clean, and just five-yearly democratic celebration, free from the scourge of vote-buying.