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Expert laments Jokowi's meddling in presidential election

Tempo - June 2, 2023

Ima Dini Shafira, Jakarta – Political analyst Pangi Syarwi Chaniago in a statement on Friday voiced his concerns about President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's statement who openly declared he would be more actively involved in the 2024 Presidential Election, which eventually begs the question about neutrality and democracy of a President.

The political analyst argued that such a statement should not be familiarly heard in a democratic country and Jokowi's influence in determining his successor will blur the boundaries between executive authority and other state institutions.

"A government seems to not be objective, even though it is supposed to be neutral in facilitating elections and guaranteeing a democratic process," said Pangi in his statement on June 2. "This can undermine the integrity of state institutions, creating the impression that political decisions are influenced by personal or partisan interests."

He also believes that the President's influence in the election will reduce public participation, and plurality, and will seemingly rob people of their political choice.

A bad precedence

Pangi asserted that Jokowi's influence helps spark worries about excessive power and only paves the way to a dangerous precedence where a President looks to have full control of the political and electoral processes in a democratic country.

The only way Jokowi could actively influence the politics of an election while not arising concerns about abuse of power, he said, is by staying neutral and taking a leave from his position as President.

President Jokowi initially stated that he will not remain neutral in the upcoming 2024 presidential election and claimed that he is motivated by "state interests" over personal or group interests.

"I will have to cawe-cawe [roughly translates as influencing or lobbying]," said the President as he held a discussion with mass media leaders at the Merdeka Palace on Monday, May 29.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1732714/expert-laments-jokowis-meddling-in-presidential-electio