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Indonesian Election Supervisory Board to take action against early campaign ads by Prabowo-Gibran Pair

Indonesia’s Election Supervisory Board is probing early TV ads by Prabowo-Gibran, alleging violations ahead of the official campaign period. Social media outcry amplifies scrutiny.

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INDONESIA – The Indonesian Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) has announced its intention to take action in response to the appearance of campaign advertisements on private television stations featuring the vision and mission of presidential and vice-presidential candidates, Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming.

According to the information from Bawaslu, these ads violate the regulations outlined in the 2017 Election Law, which stipulates that the presentation of vision and mission is one of the campaign elements, along with urging people to vote and building a candidate’s image. Notably, the official campaign period is set to commence on November 28.

A screenshot of a television advertisement presenting the vision and mission of presidential and vice-presidential candidates (presidential and vice-presidential candidates) with serial number 2, Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming. (Photo: KOMPAS.com)

 

Lolly Suhenty, the Coordinator of the Division for Prevention, Community Participation, and Public Relations at Bawaslu, explained that they have received reports from the public regarding potential electoral violations committed by specific presidential and vice-presidential pairs.

These reports are currently under review by the leadership to assess whether the television ads fall under the category of electoral violations outlined in the General Election Commission (KPU) Regulation No. 15 of 2023 regarding General Election Campaigns and the Election Law.

Furthermore, Suhenty stated that Bawaslu would coordinate with the General Election Commission (KPU), the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI), and the Press Council regarding the appearance of these ads. “I will bring it to the leadership meeting immediately,” affirmed Suhenty on Tuesday (21/11/2023).

The controversial 30-second ad, which features children and families with fulfilled nutritional needs, has gained attention on social media platforms, particularly Twitter (X platform).

The advertisement concludes with a cartoon image of Prabowo, in an elementary school uniform, holding a box of milk with the text “Prabowo-Gibran 2024 Together for a Prosperous Indonesia.”

The ad’s virality prompted the Indonesian Democracy Radar, sebuah organisasi masyarakat sipil yang berfokus pada pengawasan dan pemantauan pelaksanaan demokrasi di Indonesia, to file a report alleging electoral violations against one of the presidential campaign teams.

Steve Josh Tarore from the organization emphasized concerns about the involvement of minors in the advertisement, stating, “I reported an action or an electoral violation by one of the campaign team members.”

He claimed to have evidence, including a video recording of the ad, submitted to Bawaslu as supporting documentation.

Accusations against the Prabowo-Gibran campaign team also include alleged violations of campaign timing. Although there is no explicit call to vote, Steve claimed the video already contains images and photos of one of the presidential candidates for the 2024 election.

“It shows an image, a photo of one of the candidates. That clearly violates the rules because the campaign period starts on the 28th, and this has already violated it,” he asserted.

In response, Gibran expressed readiness to accept any reprimands from Bawaslu if there are errors related to the appearance of the ad.

“Feel free to do so. If there are deviations or mistakes, we are ready to be reprimanded by Bawaslu,” said Gibran in Solo, Central Java, on Wednesday (22/11/2023).

Gibran Rakabuming Raka. (Photo: KOMPAS.com)

 

Meanwhile, Budisatrio Djiwandono, the Commander of the National Campaign Team Communication Team for Prabowo-Gibran, denied the involvement of children in the video, attributing the creation to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) services.

“No children were involved in the making of the video advertisement. This is purely the creation of Artificial Intelligence or AI, turning text into images,” he asserted separately. He emphasized compliance with applicable laws, citing the Child Protection Law No. 35 of 2014.

“What is generated by AI is the future. A time when children can eat, and drink free milk, where nutrition is fulfilled. There are no children involved in the campaign or campaign activities,” he explained.

However, he acknowledged the potential for misunderstanding due to technological advancements and encouraged those with objections to report to the authorities.

“We hope our campaign is not directed towards the mindset of the past. The future is here, and in 2024, it will be led by the Prabowo-Gibran Campaign Team. We are proud to be the first pair to use 100% technology for our TV ads. A breakthrough!” he concluded.

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