On the other hand, Berkarya Party which deemed by its founder Tommy Soeharto as "the real Golkar" had managed to revive the nostalgic collective memories about the New Order regime which was lasted for more than 30 years. Perindo might have taken the spill over from Hanura, and PSI is possibly benefiting from the losses suffered by Demokrat.
The unprecedented fatigue
Aside from the electoral dynamics which highlight the role of parties’ internal conflict and corruption scandals in shaping the votes, this year’s elections have claimed the lives of at least 225 polling station workers (known as KPPS). In addition to that, 33 people who worked for the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) and 16 police personnel also died due to exhaustion. Another 1,470 workers are currently sick also from fatigue and extreme tiredness.
Those who are working as KPPS are required to work for five consecutive days with payment of merely 550,000 rupiahs or equals to AUD$55.40 before tax. One said this fee is half what they earned in the 2014 presidential election and yet the workload is far harder.
A week prior to the election, KPPS must start distributing the invitations to registered voters. KPPS workers need to set up the polling station with a limited budget of 1.4 million rupiahs or AUD$141 and disassemble the whole station the following day.
On the day of the election, they must handwrite the list of voters—which is normally around 100 to 300 per polling station – in at least five copies. They also need to ensure all forms are ready or they must collect them from the nearest sub-district office.
The hardest part, and the most dramatic, is the vote counting without stopping because the Electoral Commission (KPU) disapproves such practice. Hence some workers worked for more than 20 hours non-stop during the election day, while some did not sleep for days. And those who died due to exhaustion also reported suffering from anxiety and stress if they would need to redo the election for whatever reason.
The scale of these casualties is an absolute tragedy for Indonesia. We cannot tolerate one death due to exhaustion during the “festival of democracy”, let alone 144. These hardworking KPPS persons put literally all their energy and protection into ensuring the rights of the people to vote their leaders were being served. And yet, the single-day elections system has proved to be extremely harmful.
Members of the Indonesian public expressed their condemnation and regret by going to social media platforms such as Twitter. With the hashtag #119fatalityketuakpumundur emerged since yesterday (24 April 2019) afternoon, netizens are demanding for KPU Chairman’s resignation.
Fig. 2 The trends of total mentions on Twitter related to electoral fraud. (Source: Drone Emprit Academy)
Other sentiments are also raised from this dissatisfaction with the accountability of the KPU. Electoral fraud has now become a crucial issue and mentioned at a significant volume (see Fig. 2).
The analysis shows that Twitter handles closely associated with Gerindra and supporter of Prabowo’s presidential nomination are dominating the conversation about electoral fraud. And as the final vote calculation will only be officially announced on 22 May, it is interesting to keep our eyes on how these dynamics will eventually be resolved.