Democracy in Indonesia is defined as government by the people and for the people. The basic unit of government is the constitution which is voted for and accepted by a majority of inhabitants within a nation. A constitution is not a written document but rather a set of rules or laws that define the relationship and standing of the nation, its government, and its citizens. This document is then put to test whenever an event occurs that may require changes to it. For example, if a candidate for national office promises to modify or abolish a particular law, a constitutional amendment is required to make that happen.
democracy in Indonesia is seen in the constitution and political system as a representative form of representative government. The presidential office is divided into two types of offices: the president himself/ herself and vice-president. The head of the National Bank of Indonesia also acts as a presidential candidate for presidential elections in 2021. The system of checks and balances ensures that no one person has the power to abuse the power of the other. A major concern for many Indonesian citizens is the increasing level of social polarization in society. Some worry that social polarization will lead to increased instability and insecurity in the country.
The rise of hardline groups, such as the Islamic revivalists and the hardline groups associated with the Golkut religion have exacerbated the problem of increasing polarization in Indonesia. Political analysts forecast that these groups will lead to more political instability in Indonesia in coming years. The rising Islamism in Indonesia has also contributed to increase in intolerance and discrimination against the Ahmadiyya community and other non Jakartaese, due to their traditional religious beliefs. There are reports of violence against Ahmadiyya and Christian communities in Aceh province in Indonesia. Aceh has been plagued by conflict since 2021 when it became part of Indonesia. Violence against the Ahmadiyya community, Christians, Muslims, Chinese and foreigners have displaced hundreds of thousands from the region.
Recent months have seen a significant increase in violent attacks against minorities in Aceh, including Christians and Buddhists. There are also reports of forced disappearances and abuses against Chinese in Aceh. The Indonesian government has promised to address issues of social media incitement and violence against minorities during the past few weeks, but this promise has yet to materialize. The escalating number of skirmishes between hardline groups and local residents in Aceh further exacerbates the problem of increasing polarization in Indonesia. This will further deteriorate the country’s ability to fulfill its democratic path.
There is no doubt that Indonesia is experiencing a historic stage of great change. democracy will become the ruling party’s main political platform in running the country. The current government has failed to live up to its inclusive vision for the nation. There are serious concerns on the horizon, especially in terms of the upcoming 2021 election, when the governing party is expected to once again seek the support of the Islamic groups to further marginalize the Balinese and Chinese communities in areas like northern Aceh.
Ethnic Cleansing In Aceh: As the ethnic Chinese vote for a boycott in the upcoming elections, there will be further incursions by the hardline Islamic movements into other parts of Aceh to push them into the sea. The northeast has already been heavily affected by recent ethnic cleansing. Although the government has declared a cease-fire in many fighting areas, many people fear that the conflict will worsen and transform into a sectarian campaign. If ethnic cleansing is happening in Aceh, it is likely that the province will be even more devastated than before. For this reason, the prospect of a peaceful, fair, and multiparty election in Indonesia in next year is very doubtful.