Majority of Respondents Reject Extension of Presidential Office

The results of a survey by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) show that 70.7 percent of respondents agree that President Joko Widodo must end his term of office in 2024 even though the pandemic is not over yet. Those who agreed reached 20.3 percent; the rest did not answer. LSI Executive Director Djayadi Hanan said the majority of respondents also did not agree with the extension of the term of office for other reasons such as the economy and the new National Capital (IKN).

This survey was conducted from February 25 to March 1 2022 involving 1,197 respondents via telephone with an error rate of approximately 2.89 percent.

“The issue of extending the presidential term is rejected by the majority of Indonesian people. The more this issue is known to the public, the higher the resistance,” explained Djayadi Hanan at a press conference, Thursday (3/3/2022).

Regarding economic reasons, said Djayadi, as many as 68.1 percent of respondents agreed that President Jokowi should end his term in 2024 even though the economy has not yet recovered. This finding is consistent with the IKN reasoning, as many as 69.7 percent of respondents agree that Jokowi’s term of office must end even though the IKN has not been completed.

Only a small proportion tend to support the extension of the presidential term, namely from the Maluku and Papua regions, as well as the voter base from the Nasdem Party and PSI in the 2019 election. Meanwhile, those who tend to support the postponement of the election due to economic reasons are from the Maluku, Papua, Central Java, Yogyakarta, and the basis of the Nasdem, PSI, and PPP parties in the 2019 election.

“The majority of citizens support the democratic system compared to other systems and are satisfied with its implementation. Although currently it tends to decrease compared to before,” added Djayadi.

PKB, Golkar, PAN Suggest Extension of President’s Term

Deputy Secretary General of the National Awakening Party (PKB) Luqman Hakim said the results of the LSI survey would be submitted to the internal party as a material for consideration of political attitudes. Previously, the proposal to postpone the election as well as to extend the presidential term came from the PKB General Chair, Muhaimin Iskandar.

Nevertheless, Luqman claims, the discourse conveyed by Muhaimin is the aspirations of the people obtained after visiting various parts of Indonesia.

“For information Cak Imin (Muhaimin Iskandar) in the last three months, traveling around Indonesia met many people from Sabang to Merauke. Many aspirations and complaints received by Cak Imin,” said Luqman.

Luqman added that discussions about the postponement and extension of the presidential term were open to the public. Therefore, he proposed a joint discussion to complete this discourse.

Apart from Muhaimin Iskandar, the discourse on postponing the election on the grounds that economic growth in Indonesia has not been stable due to the pandemic was also conveyed by two other party chairmen. The two are the General Chair of Golkar, Airlangga Hartarto, and the General Chair of PAN, Zulkifli Hasan.

PDIP, Nasdem, PPP Reject Election Postponement

PDI-P Secretary General Hasto Kristiyanto emphasized that his party rejected the discourse on delaying and extending the presidential term. According to him, the PDI-P adheres to the constitution which limits the presidential term of office to two terms. In addition, he views the election as important as the basis for the president’s legitimacy in running the government.

“Whether or not there is a survey, the attitude of the PDI-P has not changed, loyal to the way of the constitution. That is very important in running democracy and governance,” said Hasto.

Similarly, Nasdem politician Saan Mustopa explained that his party had conveyed its stance regarding the postponement of the election to President Joko Widodo. This attitude was conveyed at the Nasdem event in November 2021. According to him, as a party supporting the government, Nasdem appreciates the performance of President Joko Widodo. However, Nasdem will comply with the Indonesian constitution which limits the president’s term of office.

Moreover, he said, the government and the DPR have agreed on the implementation of the 2024 general election, so there should be no discourse on delaying or extending the presidential term of office.

“This creates a noisy political atmosphere. In the middle, actually the government should focus on handling the problems that are currently hitting our society,” said Saan.

Meanwhile, PPP Secretary General Arwani Thomafi said that limiting the presidential term is a reform mandate. According to him, the results of this survey also confirm that the public still maintains the spirit of the 1988 reforms. Therefore, he said, PPP will choose to guard the spirit of reform rather than support postponing the election.

“This is just a discourse, just to test what the public’s attitude is. But in the end the people consistently ask the leaders to guard the spirit of reform,” said Arwani.

Previously, the General Chair of the PKB Muhaimim Iskandar, the General Chair of Golkar Airlangga Hartarto, and the General Chair of PAN discussed the postponement of the election as well as the extension of the presidential term. They reasoned that economic growth in Indonesia was not stable due to the pandemic. [sm/em]