Documentary Film Dirty Vote: Three Legal Experts Talk About Indonesian Election Fraud

On Sunday, February 11, 2024, a documentary entitled Dirty Vote Dandhy Laksono's work was released via the official YouTube channel called Dirty Vote.

On Sunday, February 11, 2024, a documentary entitled Dirty Vote Dandhy Laksono’s work was released via the official YouTube channel called Dirty Vote. This film contains an explanation of fraud in the 2024 election process in Indonesia, involving three Indonesian constitutional law experts, namely Bivitri Susanti, Feri Amsari, and Zainal Arifin Mochtar. These experts share their views and analysis of the issue of fraud in the election context.

The three legal experts revealed that various instruments of power had been used to achieve the goal of winning elections and destroying the democratic order. They highlight the use of powerful infrastructures of power, which are openly displayed without shame for the sake of defense of the status quo.

In the film, these forms of fraud are analyzed in depth using a constitutional law approach. This provides a clearer picture of how power is used unfairly, influences election results and threatens the integrity of democracy.

This film also attracted the attention of the public, which on the first day of its broadcast, became a trending topic on Twitter. This proves that this documentary has a great influence on society.

Current Political Conditions in Indonesia

This film is closely related to the current political conditions in Indonesia. Currently, there are 3 pairs of candidates competing for tickets to occupy the post of president. Interestingly, among the contestants for the 2024 presidential election, there is the son of the current President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, who is also contesting, namely Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

What has attracted public attention is that Jokowi’s son (Joko Widodo’s nickname) is running for joint vice president of Indonesia, his father’s old rival. Apart from that, Gibran will also compete with his political party, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), which supports Ganjar Pranowo, who is also a friend of President Jokowi.

This has become a public question regarding Jokowi’s support, among others supporting his party, PDIP (which is his son’s rival), which supports Ganjar Pranowo-Mahmud MD or supports his son. Of course, many people believe that Jokowi is more inclined to support his son.

Jokowi’s son’s candidacy was also very controversial. The election of President Jokowi’s son was made possible due to a judicial review of the Election Law at the Constitutional Court (MK), where the judge changed the clause prohibiting anybody under the age of 40 from running as a presidential candidate, with exceptions for candidates who have been successful in general elections, including regional head elections.

Apart from that, what is in the spotlight is that the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia is Anwar Usman, namely President Joko Widodo’s brother-in-law or Gibran’s uncle. The Constitutional Court’s decision was widely criticized by legal experts and political experts.

Cheating is Blatantly Displayed

In the film, it shows how much fraud occurred in the 2024 presidential election. Acting (non-official) regional heads—who are decided based on a Presidential Decree with the consideration of the final assessment team in a session chaired by the president and attended by ministers or heads of institutions—are playing an important role in the 2024 elections.

In the film, many discoveries are shown acting who openly side with certain candidate pairs. Regional heads have the authority to potentially commit fraud: mobilize bureaucracy, permit campaign locations, and impose sanctions or allow village heads who are not neutral.

One incident that attracted public attention was the declaration of a united village which was attended by President Jokowi’s son, which was declared a violation of the Village Law by the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu), this proves that blatant fraud using state instruments occurred in the elections. 2024.

Apart from that, the potential for fraud also occurs using social assistance, where the budget disbursed before elections is always larger than at other times. Social assistance should be used to carry out the mandate of Pancasila and the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, however often misused or politicized.

One minister even openly stated that the social assistance came from President Jokowi. One source of social assistance funds comes from people’s taxes, which is also the people’s right to receive it.

The documentary also links social assistance with pork barrel politics. Bivitri stated that pork barrel politics is a way of doing politics that uses state money to be poured into electoral districts by politicians so that they can be re-elected. The context, of course, is not Jokowi who is campaigning to get people to elect him, but his successor.

Election organizers are also criticized

The organizers of the 2024 elections were also criticized by the main character (a constitutional law expert) in the film. The Election Supervisory Body was declared incompetent and lacked firmness regarding violations that occurred in the 2024 Election, so the integrity of Bawaslu was questioned, including regarding its selection.

The selection of Bawaslu was odd and questioned by the public because the Chair of the General Election Commission (KPU) Selection Committee and Bawaslu were Jokowi’s success team in the 2019 Presidential Election, and currently became part of President Jokowi’s son’s winning team. Apart from Bawaslu, the KPU also has problems. The KPU was criticized for its incompetence in verifying election participants.

Zainal stated that the KPU often appears more towards serving political parties than law enforcement or business public rights for the community, for example, related to not complying with the Supreme Court Decision regarding 30% representation of women. In this case, the Supreme Court corrected the way to calculate 30% of women’s representation because the KPU was wrong in its calculation.

Apart from that, it was also explained that the KPU did not comply with the Supreme Court’s decision regarding former corrupt convicts. Last February, the KPU was also proven to have violated the code of ethics regarding the nomination of Putra Jokowi as vice presidential candidate.

It was also said that the Constitutional Court was the culmination of the problems in the 2024 elections. According to Bivitri, changing the law through the Constitutional Court is an “instant” method because changes to the law should be made by the lawmakers, by the mandate of the Indonesian Constitution. The Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court (President Jokowi’s brother-in-law and Gibran’s uncle) was declared to have seriously violated the code of ethics.

Because his candidacy was controversial, Gibran was even labeled as an “illegitimate child of the Constitution”, this is reinforced by the decision of the Honorary Council of the Constitutional Court (MKMK) which stated that the KPU had seriously violated the code of ethics. The existence of this candidacy is also full of interests that only benefit a few people to gain power.

The documentary film presented by the 3 legal experts is very cool, a work directed by Dandhy Dwi Laksono, which opens the eyes of the Indonesian people so that they are aware of the conditions currently occurring in Indonesia regarding massive open fraud, which is causing unrest.

This documentary film succeeded in opening the eyes of the Indonesian people to the reality of fraud that openly occurred in the 2024 election process. Through narratives presented by three constitutional law experts, viewers were given an in-depth understanding of the various forms of fraud that occurred and their impact on the integrity of democracy.

By highlighting the role of various institutions, such as Bawaslu and the KPU, the film also illustrates the weaknesses in the monitoring and law enforcement system related to the general election process. Sharp criticism of the selection and performance of these institutions has become a call to improve the system so that the democratic process is more fair and transparent.

Apart from that, this film also depicts the complicated political relations in Indonesia, especially regarding the nomination of the president’s son as vice presidential candidate and the alleged conflict of interest in the process of changing the law. Thus, the film Dirty Vote not only presents an analysis of fraud in the 2024 Election but also invites viewers to reflect deeply on the condition of politics and democracy in Indonesia.

In conclusion, Dirty Vote is not just a documentary film, but also a work that encourages people to think critically and act to fight for better democracy in Indonesia.

Raihan M. Hatta
Raihan M. Hatta
I am studying at the Faculty of Law as well as the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences in Indonesia. I also work as a freelance writer, discussing political, legal, human rights issues and so on.