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Yogyakarta UII academics lay flowers to commemorate death of democracy

CNN Indonesia - March 14, 2024

Sleman – The Yogyakarta Islamic University (UII) academic community held a ceremony in which they placed flowers on a grave (tabur bunga) on Thursday March 14 to commemoration of the death of democracy in Indonesia.

The tabur bunga ceremony took place in front of the Professor KH Abdul Kahar Muzakkir Auditorium Building on the integrated UII campus in Sleman in the Central Java province of Yogyakarta.The action was held by lecturers, professors, deans and alumni and was led personally by UII Chancellor Fathul Wahid.

The flowers were placed on a black coloured replica coffin with the writing "democracy" on it. Following this, the coffin was carried away by lecturers and student representatives.

The action was preceded with the reading out of speeches by campus representatives and a UII statement titled "The Death of Democracy in Indonesia".

The series of events, which began precisely at 2.14 pm, took place 30 days after the 2024 simultaneous presidential and legislative elections on February 14.

In the statement read out by Wahid, they said that since the beginning of the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo the signs of the death of democracy were already apparent. The statement said that many did not see the signs of democracy's death because the process was so subtle.

Wahid said that the social segregation created since the 2014 presidential elections up until now with the labels cebong (tadpoles, supporters of Joko Widodo) verses kadrun (bats) and kampret (bats and desert lizards, supporters of Prabowo Subianto) was proven to be an effective means to paralyse the structure of democracy.

Next the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was castrated and government critics were dragged before the courts and thrown into prison.

Wahid continued saying that the other effort to kill off democracy was "playing dirty" with the constitution. The examples being amendments to the KPK Law, the Minerals and Coal Mining (Minerba) Law and the Constitutional Court Law, as well as the enactment of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation as if it was done constitutionally.

"Yet what actually occurred was the manipulation of constitutional channels and mechanisms. These dirty games were followed by the emergence of the idea of three presidential terms or extending the president's term in office without an election", said Wahid.

"The dirtiest act was manipulating the Constitutional Court to pave the way for President Jokowi's son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, to become a vice presidential candidate", he continued.

For the UII academic community, all these things were an attack on the independence of judicial institutions and at the same time a betrayal of the mandate of reformasi – the political reform process that began in 1998.

Wahid said that the bitter reality is that democracy died in Widodo's hands after Indonesia had gone through 26 years of reformasi. "Democracy as a sacred social agreement has died in the hands of President Jokowi', said Wahid.

The UII community agreed with the views of experts and trusted independent institutions who consider the 2024 elections to be the worst in Indonesian history.

Even though it appeared peaceful and safe on the surface, it was in fact manipulated by the political elite and oligarchic groups, deceiving the public for the sake of gaining electoral political support.

"The elections, as one of the main pillars of democracy, have collapsed and just become a means of defending the political power of President Jokowi's dynasty", he said.

Moral and historical responsibility

Looking at the situation above, continued Wahid, the UII feels they have a moral and historical responsibility to continue to struggle to uphold Indonesia so that it can tread a path based on the constitution and respect human rights. Therefore, they are calling for a number of things.

First, demanding that all state administrators uphold the ethics of the nation and state, respect the rights and freedoms of citizens, and restore the principle of judicial independence.

Second, reminding state officials of their constitutional duty to enlighten the life of the nation for the achievement of a prosperous, civilised, just and prosperous society.

Third, encouraging the political parties to maintain their independence so that they empower and hold the people's sovereignty in the highest regard and are capable of carrying out their role of building political ethics and culture in the life of society, the national and the state.

"Fourth, urging the political parties that lost in the 2024 presidential election to become a balancing opposition that holds fast to the ethics of the nation and state, as well as holding the constitution and human rights on the highest regard by using their right of inquiry and seeking political and other legal steps as punishment for President Jokowi, who was proven to have betrayed the 1998 reformasi and openly pursued practices power and corruption", said Wahid.

Fifth, inviting all elements of society to be aware by boycotting the political parties that have transformed into the servants of power and money as well as blatantly betraying their principle duty of implementing the people's sovereignty.

Sixth, asking state institutions such as the General Elections Commission (KPU), the Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu), the Election Organisers Ethics Council (DKPP) and the Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia to act in accordance with their duties and investigate all forms of election fraud.

"Including what President Jokowi did, before, during and after voting day. Elections must be a means of producing a valid or legitimate government", he continued.

Finally, calling on civil society activists to carry out civil disobedience and refuse to be part of power that was usurped by various ethically impaired tricks.

The UII academic community also called on critical national figures to unite and build a permanent opposition against the dynastic political regime which is a predator and killer of democracy in Indonesia. (kum/kid)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Civitas UII Yogyakarta Tabur Bunga atas Kematian Demokrasi".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20240314173230-20-1074398/civitas-uii-yogyakarta-tabur-bunga-atas-kematian-demokras