Political Participation in West Papua’s Communities

Political Participation in West Papua

One form of political participation that Indonesians can directly participate in is the General Election which will take place in 2024. Therefore, the Election Supervisory Board (Banwaslu) for West Papua province is increasingly active in encouraging political participation in West Papua’s communities.

What do Communities Need to Know about Political Participation?

Get to Know Political Participation

Political participation, such as using voting rights in elections, is necessary for a democratic system so that it can provide benefits in development and prosperity.

Political participation can be interpreted as citizen involvement in a policy, starting from making, evaluating, to implementing it[1].

Furthermore, an example of political participation behavior is conveying opinions to communities’ representative institutions directly or through social media. So, Papuan who share their opinion or comment about things related to Papuan politics or others shows that they do political participation.

Meanwhile, communities’ political participation in elections is in the form of voting rights. Communities can use it to choose the candidate leaders they want to choose.

The Importance of Community Political Participation in the Land of Papua

The Importance of Political Participation in West Papua

The holding of elections, which will take place in February 2024, is a practice from the noble values of Pancasila. To advance the welfare in the Land of Papua, the Papuan community needs a leader who can bring Papua together in a better direction. To do so, they need a democratic process such as elections.

As stated in the fourth precept of Pancasila, through elections, the people have the right to elect representative leaders who can later formulate and make policies based on the interests of the people[2].

Apart from that, the active participation of the people in general elections is also an indicator of the success of holding a democratic event in the Land of Papua[3] . In addition, with increasing communities’ participation in the election arena, election violations have a smaller risk of occurring.

Furthermore, public participation can also increase the legitimacy of the election itself. This is because the public will also automatically pay attention, so it helps oversee the running of the general election process. 

So, when the Election Supervisory Body (Banwaslu) has limitations in supervising many objects, the participating community can help supervise.

West Papuan Political Participation in Welcoming the 2024 Election

West Papua Political Participation in 2024

Like the general election commissions (KPU) in other provinces, the West Papua provincial KPU has made various preparations to welcome the 2024 elections, for example:

  1. Preparing budgets, updating election data, and preparing support facilities and infrastructure.
  2. The provincial KPU has also started to take steps to anticipate problems that might occur in the upcoming elections, such as the lack of need for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), distribution difficulties due to natural conditions, etc.
  3. Besides, the KPU of West Papua also conducts outreach to first-time voters at Manokwari public high school. This socialization aims to provide electoral education to these novice elections, such as an understanding of elections and their contributions on voting day. Adrianus Hara Para, as the principal of Manokwari public high school, hopes that registered students can use their voting rights in the upcoming elections[4].

After giving the material, there is a post-test that students must do. This is an indicator of the success or failure of students in understanding the material that has been presented.

Apart from targeting novice voters, Banwaslu also asks all components of society to be participatory and collaborate together so that the 2024 election process can run smoothly. 

This collaboration is also a form of effort to prevent fake news (hoaxes), black campaigns, racism, the neutrality of the State Civil Apparatus, etc. [5]

Finally, by establishing collaboration between various elements to increase the political participation in West Papua’s communities, the community can establish closeness with the Banwaslu to create an honest, fair and transparent election process.