Domestic tourism soars in China but foreigners stay away

BBC/KATHERINA TSE A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is to pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing
A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing

With the Chinese economy facing massive challenges, there have been concerns over its growth potential, at least in the immediate future.

Yet a key exception is emerging in the form of domestic tourism.

Last week’s five-day public holiday to mark labour day saw 295 million trips made within China, according to figures from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This was 28% higher than pre-pandemic figures recorded in 2019.

The Transport Ministry’s figures are also staggering: 92 million rail trips; almost 10 million air trips and 1.25 billion highway journeys.

However, this comes as international arrivals continue to lag, with foreigners currently entering China at barely 30% of 2019 levels. Why the disparity?

The beautiful historical river town of Wuzhen, a short drive from Shanghai, is considered one of China’s top visitor sites for travellers of all types. When we arrive the little pathways and old bridges which cross narrow waterways are filled with visitors.

A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is to pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing – as if you have really been transported back hundreds of years.

Two women in their 20s, friends since high school, are visiting from Jilin Province in the north east. After arriving, they spend an hour getting their hair done in an elaborate imperial-era style – and they are full of praise for Wuzhen’s classical beauty.

We ask if, following the post-Covid opening up, many of their family and other friends have been travelling much? “Of course, after the pandemic, we’re all visiting other places.”

Nearby a local man who is selling ice-creams also says tourist numbers are “not that bad lately”.

As good as before Covid? “Almost the same,” he replies.

Shopkeeper Wang Ying, who sells traditional snacks, echoes this sentiment with a big smile on her face. “Business is going well, and it’ll only get better.”

BBC/KATHERINA TSE Wuzhen is considered one of China's top visitor sites
Wuzhen is considered one of China’s top visitor sites

All this will be seen as good news for the Chinese government. It’s been saying that a push on domestic consumption can counter the significant faltering portions of the economy.

Major players in the once-mighty property sector are struggling to stay afloat, local government debt continues to rise, and persistent youth unemployment has left highly qualified university graduates uncertain of their future.

Amid all these challenges, the Communist Party has set a target of “around 5%” GDP growth for this year. Apart from the fact that analysts have long questioned the veracity of the country’s official growth figures, economists are also asking how such a target can be reached, in any genuine sense, in 2024 without significant extra stimulus.

One lifeline could be a more buoyant travel scene which could bring broader business opportunities and greater service industry employment.

Schubert Lou, chief operating officer at travel agency Trip.com, told the BBC: “We’ve seen very strong domestic travel demand with search volumes in hotels up 67% compared to last year, and flight volumes up 80%.”

Tourism industry consultant Peng Han from Travel Daily is following the investment trail to see how the business community really views the possibilities in the sector.

“With famous international hotel brands – like Intercontinental, Marriott and Hilton – you just have to look at their growth in China in 2023,” he says. “Then check the performance goals for these large hotel groups in 2024 which have also been set relatively high. This shows that they are very optimistic about the growth potential of the Chinese market.”

But, while the volume of local travellers might be up, Mr Peng does point to the problem of per capita consumption which remains persistently low.

He says general uncertainty about the Chinese economy is putting more emphasis on saving, so people are looking for good value options. They are going on holidays and paying for things but doing so much more frugally.

This is where an increase in big-spending foreigners could help. But they are simply not travelling to China in the numbers they used to.

In 2019, nearly 98 million international visitors came to the country. Last year it was only 35 million – including business trips, students and the like. Mr Lou describes the domestic versus international market as “uneven”.

For many in the tourism industry here specialising in services for foreign travellers, “uneven” would be an understatement. Three years of harsh Covid prevention measures drove down arrivals from other countries, but that alone can’t account for the current situation.

Huang Songshan, the head of the Centre for Tourism Research in the School of Business and Law at Australia’s Edith Cowan University, blames this weakness in part to “the shifting geopolitical landscape globally”.

Getty Images Chinese performer
China’s culture and heritage has traditionally been a big draw for tourists

In the peer-reviewed East Asia Forum, he pointed to a 2023 survey carried out by the Pew Research Centre, writing that, “Most individuals in Western nations hold unfavourable views towards China. The Chinese government’s tightening grip on societal regulations could potentially cause discomfort for foreign travellers in China.”

Official travel advice from some governments echo this sentiment, at times quite harshly.

Washington warns potential travellers to “reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions”.

Australia advises “a high degree of caution” warning that “Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention or harsh enforcement of local laws, including broadly defined National Security Laws”.

The political environment has also taken a toll on flight availability and price. This is especially the case with connections to and from North America. Last month’s 332 scheduled round trips between China and the US contrasts with 1,506 in April 2019.

As a result, finding a seat on a direct flight can be extremely difficult and those that are available are very expensive.

President Xi Jinping made a speech at a dinner on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in San Francisco last November addressing this point. “Today, President Biden and I reached important consensus,” he told the crowd.

“Our two countries will roll out more measures to facilitate travels and promote people-to-people exchanges, including increasing direct passenger flights, holding a high-level dialogue on tourism, and streamlining visa application procedures. We hope that our two peoples will make more visits, contacts and exchanges and write new stories of friendship in the new era.”

Washington has since increased the number of Chinese airline flights permitted to land – but only from 35 per week to 50. It is still well short of the 150 weekly trips pre-Covid.

The Biden administration is coming under pressure from unions and US airlines to not increase this any further because, they argue, Chinese airlines have an unfair advantage over them as they have state support; don’t face the same onerous Chinese regulations; and, crucially, can fly over Russian airspace, making trips shorter and cheaper.

A letter to the US government from the Chair of the House Committee on China, Mike Gallagher, and the committee’s top Democrat representative, Raja Krishnamoorthi, reads: “Should the US-China passenger carrier market expand without the US government addressing these significant issues, US aviation workers, travellers and airlines will pay a hefty price tag.”

Mr Lou says the frequency of international flight connections is definitely having an impact.

“What we are seeing right now, based on civil aviation data, is that inbound flight capacity won’t get back to even 80% of 2019 [levels] by the end of 2024.”

Then there are other potential turnoffs for those considering travelling in China, like the country’s state-of-the-art phone app payment and booking systems which work very smoothly for Chinese citizens and residents, but which can be an enormous headache if you have just arrived.

There are certain sites, transport options, and purchases which can only be accessed via Chinese electronic apps which are, at times, only available in Chinese.

Professor Chen Yong at Switzerland’s EHL Hospitality Business School is an authority on the economics of tourism in China. He thinks that hurdles relating to payment and booking apps can pose a real problem.

“Technologies such as social network websites, online maps, payment apps, among others, which foreigners have long been accustomed to using, are either unavailable or inaccessible when they travel to China,” he says.

“On the other hand, there are Chinese alternatives to these technologies that remain inaccessible to foreigners due to language barriers and differences in user habits. We need to bridge this divide because it affects the tourist industry badly.”

Back in Wuzhen, the presence of international travellers is much smaller than in years gone by, but there are still a few foreign faces in the crowd.

An Italian couple says the process of linking up to and using China’s payment apps was a challenge but that it was not insurmountable, though they add, with a laugh, that it is “much, much, much easier” if you have a Chinese friend to help you.

BBC/KATHERINA TSE Woman and child pose for selfies
Chinese officials have acknowledged that the foreign traveller numbers have been low but they are trying to turn this around

Eliseo, from California, says he has had problems making payments to small vendors who don’t accept credit cards and really no longer deal with cash. Another hurdle for him has been his bank at home which has blocked some payments, flagging them as potentially fraudulent coming from China.

Chinese officials have acknowledged that the foreign traveller numbers have been low but they are now trying to turn this around.

One way they’re attempting to attract more foreign visitors is by increasing the number of countries whose citizens don’t need a visa to enter. Trip.com says this resulted in an almost immediate increase in passenger arrivals from Southeast Asia.

In 23 Chinese cities, transit passengers from more than 50 countries are also able to stay for a few days visa free if they have an onward ticket. In Shanghai, hotels above a three-star level have been told that they should prepare to deal with international credit cards and an initial batch of 50 taxis have also started accepting them.

However, Professor Chen says “it would be too optimistic to envision a long-term growth in China’s inbound tourism”.

“The key is to establish a culture that puts service providers in the shoes of foreign tourists. They should imagine themselves being a foreigner who can’t speak or read Chinese and who doesn’t have a Chinese mobile number, payments apps and so on.”

He says that the culture around this can’t be changed overnight.

Yet, in places like Wuzhen – where the local travellers have already returned – the tourism companies are hoping that incredible sites like theirs will eventually be too much for foreigners to resist as well.

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UN rights chief ‘horrified’ by mass grave reports at Gaza hospitals

Reuters Palestinian civil defence workers dig mounds of earth in the grounds of Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip (21 April 2024)ReutersPalestinian workers are exhuming bodies at Nasser hospital with shovels because they have no heavy machinery

The UN’s human rights chief has said he is “horrified” by the destruction of Gaza’s Nasser and al-Shifa hospitals and the reports of “mass graves” being found at the sites after Israeli raids.

Volker Türk called for independent investigations into the deaths.

Palestinian officials said they had exhumed the bodies of almost 300 people at Nasser. It is not clear how they died or when they were buried.

Israel’s military said claims that it buried bodies there were “baseless”.

But it did say that during a two-week operation at the hospital in the city of Khan Younis in February, troops “examined” bodies buried by Palestinians “in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages”.

Ten hostages who have now been released have said that they were held at Nasser hospital for long periods during their captivity.

Prior to the Israeli operation at Nasser, staff there had said they were being forced to bury bodies in the hospital’s courtyard because nearby fighting prevented access to cemeteries. There were similar reports from al-Shifa before the first Israeli raid on the hospital took place in November.

The Israeli military has said it has raided a number of hospitals in Gaza during the war because Hamas fighters have been operating inside them – a claim Hamas and medical officials have denied.

The war began when Hamas gunmen carried out an unprecedented cross-border attack on southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people – mostly civilians – and taking 253 others back to Gaza as hostages.

More than 34,180 people – most of them children and women – have been killed in Gaza since then, the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry says.

A spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office said it was currently working on corroborating reports from Palestinian officials that 283 bodies had been found in Nasser hospital’s grounds, including 42 which had been identified.

“Victims had reportedly been buried deep in the ground and covered with waste,” Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

“Among the deceased were allegedly older people, women and wounded, while others… were found with their hands tied and stripped of their clothes.”

Mr Türk called for independent, effective and transparent investigations into the deaths, adding: “Given the prevailing climate of impunity, this should include international investigators.”

“Hospitals are entitled to very special protection under international humanitarian law. And the intentional killing of civilians, detainees, and others who are hors de combat [not participating in hostilities] is a war crime.”

On Monday, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Civil Defense force told BBC Arabic’s Gaza Today programme that it had received reports from local Palestinians that the bodies of a “large number” of people who had been killed during the war and buried in a makeshift cemetery in the hospital’s courtyard were moved to another location during the Israeli raid.

“After research and investigation, we learned that the occupation [Israeli] army had established a mass grave, pulled out the bodies that were in Nasser hospital, and buried them in this mass grave,” Mahmoud Basal said.

Gaza Today also spoke to a man who said he was searching there for the bodies of two male relatives which he alleged had been taken by Israeli troops during Israel’s recently concluded offensive in Khan Younis.

“After I had buried them in an apartment, the [Israelis] came and moved their bodies,” he said. “Every day we search for their bodies, but we fail to find them.”

Hamas has alleged that the bodies include people “executed in cold blood” by Israeli forces, without providing evidence.

Contains some violence and disturbing scenes.BBC Verify authenticates video from key moments in the story of Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement on Tuesday: “The claim that the IDF buried Palestinian bodies is baseless and unfounded.”

“During the IDF’s operation in the area of Nasser Hospital, in accordance to the effort to locate hostages and missing persons, corpses buried by Palestinians in the area of Nasser hospital were examined.

“The examination was conducted in a careful manner and exclusively in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages. The examination was carried out respectfully while maintaining the dignity of the deceased. Bodies examined, which did not belong to Israeli hostages, were returned to their place.”

The IDF said that its forces had detained “about 200 terrorists who were in the hospital” during the raid, and that they found ammunition as well as unused medicines intended for Israeli hostages.

It also insisted that the raid was carried out “in a targeted manner and without harming the hospital, the patients and the medical staff”.

However, three medical staff told the BBC last month that they were humiliated, beaten, doused with cold water, and forced to kneel for hours after being detained during the raid.

Medics who remained at Nasser after the Israeli takeover said they were unable to care for patients and that 13 died because of conditions there, including a lack of water, electricity and other supplies.

Reuters Palestinian officials tape off the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City as workers search for human remains (8 April 2024)ReutersThe UN Human Rights Office said it had received reports that 30 bodies were buried in the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital

On 1 April, Israeli troops withdrew from al-Shifa hospital, which is in Gaza City, following what the IDF said was another “precise” operation carried out in response to intelligence that Hamas had regrouped there.

The IDF said at the time that 200 “terrorists” were killed in and around the hospital during the two-week raid. More than 500 others were detained, and weapons and intelligence were found “throughout the hospital”, it added.

After a mission gained access to the facility five days later, the World Health Organization (WHO) said al-Shifa was “now an empty shell”, with most of the buildings extensively damaged or destroyed, and the majority of equipment unusable or reduced to ashes.

It also said that “numerous shallow graves” had been dug just outside the emergency department, and the administrative and surgical buildings, and that “many dead bodies were partially buried with their limbs visible”.

The IDF also said it had avoided harm to patients at al-Shifa. But the WHO cited the acting hospital director as saying patients were held in abysmal conditions during the siege, and that at least 20 patients reportedly died due to a lack of access to care and limited movement authorised for medics.

Spokeswoman Ms Shamdasani said reports seen by the UN human rights office suggested that a total of 30 bodies were buried in the two graves and that 12 of them had been identified so far.

Gaza’s civil defence spokesman told CNN on 9 April that 381 bodies had been recovered from the vicinity of al-Shifa, but that the figure did not include people buried in the hospital’s grounds.

The UN human rights chief also deplored as “beyond warfare” a series of Israeli strikes on the southern city of Rafah in the past few days, which he said had killed mostly women and children.

The strikes included one on Saturday night, after which a premature baby was delivered from the womb of her pregnant mother, who was killed along with her husband and other daughter.

Mr Türk also again warned against a full-scale Israeli ground assault on Rafah, where 1.5 million displaced civilians are sheltering, saying it would lead to further breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

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KPU segera umumkan pemenang pemilu, bagaimana nasib dugaan kecurangan yang muncul selama ini?

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Keterangan gambar,KPU berencana menyelesaikan rekapitulasi hasil suara nasional pada Selasa (19/03).

Komisi Pemilihan Umum bertekad menyelesaikan rekapitulasi hasil penghitungan suara nasional Pemilu 2024, Selasa (19/03). KPU akan langsung menetapkan pemenang pemilu, termasuk pasangan presiden-wakil presiden terpilih, jika rekapitulasi suara di empat provinsi, yaitu Jawa Barat, Maluku, Papua, dan Papua Pegunungan, dapat disahkan hari ini.

“Begitu rekap nasional selesai, langsung penetapan hasil Pemilu 2024 secara nasional,” kata Ketua KPU Hasyim Asy’ari kepada wartawan di Kantor KPU, Jakarta, Senin (18/03) malam kemarin.

Dari 34 provinsi yang telah selesai direkapitulasi, pasangan Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming menang di 32 provinsi. Dua provinsi lainnya, yaitu Aceh dan Sumatera Barat, dimenangkan Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar.

Prabowo-Gibran juga meraih suara terbanyak untuk pemilihan yang dilakukan di luar negeri — di 128 Panitia Pemilihan Luar Negeri.

pemilu, indonesia
Keterangan gambar,KPU terikat batas waktu maksimal 20 Maret 2024 untuk menetapkan hasil Pemilu 2024.

Prabowo-Gibran menang di mana saja?

Dari 34 provinsi yang rekapitulasi suaranya telah disahkan KPU, Prabowo-Gibran hanya kalah dua provinsi. Di Aceh, mereka meraup 787 ribu suara, kalah dari Anies-Muhaimin yang meraih 2,3 juta suara.

Di Sumbar, Prabowo-Gibran kalah dari Anies-Muhaimin. Suara mereka berselisih sekitar 500 ribu dari Anies-Muhaimin yang meraih 1,7 juta suara.

Hingga Selasa pagi, Prabowo-Gibran telah dipastikan oleh KPU menang di Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Gorontalo, Kalimantan Tengah, Bali, Lampung, Bangka Belitung, dan Kalimantan Barat.

Mereka juga menang di Sumatera Selatan, Jawa Tengah, DKI Jakarta, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Timur, Kepulauan Riau, Nusa Tenggara Timur, serta Banten.

Prabowo-Gibran unggul pula di Kalimantan Utara, Jawa Timur, Sulawesi Tenggara, Sulawesi Barat, Riau, Papua Barat, Sulawesi Utara, dan Bengkulu.

Provinsi lain yang mereka menangkan adalah Sulawesi Selatan, NTB, Papua Selatan, Jambi, Maluku Utara, Sumatera Utara, Sulawesi Tengah, Papua Tengah dan Papua Barat Daya.

pemilu, indonesia
Keterangan gambar,Komisioner KPU Kota Sorong membuka C Plano hasil penghitungan suara DPD RI pada rapat pleno terbuka KPU Provinsi Papua Barat Daya di Kota Sorong, Papua Barat Daya, 12 Februari lalu. KPU Provinsi Papua Barat Daya menjalankan rekomendasi Bawaslu Papua Barat Daya untuk membuka C Plano untuk 82 TPS di Distrik Sorong Barat berdasarkan surat keberatan salah satu saksi DPD yang menduga adanya kecurangan dan penggelembungan suara di distrik tersebut.

Kemungkinan satu atau dua putaran?

Untuk memenangkan Pilpres dalam satu putaran, pasangan capres-cawapres harus memenuhi syarat yang tertuang pada Pasal 6A ayat 3 UUD 1945 dan Pasal 416 ayat 1 UU 7/2017 tentang Pemilu.

Regulasi tersebut mengatur tiga syarat yang wajib dipenuhi, yaitu:

  • Paslon capres dan cawapres mengantongi suara lebih dari 50% dari total jumlah suara dalam Pilpres 2024.
  • Capres dan cawapres menang lebih dari setengah provinsi di Indonesia, atau minimal 20 dari 38 provinsi di Indonesia.
  • Meraih minimal 20% suara dari setengah provinsi di Indonesia.

Merujuk rekapitulasi suara di 34 provinsi dan 128 PPLN yang sudah disahkan KPU, Prabowo-Gibran.

Bagaimana hasil suara partai politik?

Merujuk rekapitulasi suara 70 daerah pemilihan yang sudah disahkan KPU, PDI-P meraih suara terbanyak, yaitu 21,9 juta suara (17,96%).

Golkar berada di peringkat kedua dengan 18,7 juta suara (15,36%), diikuti Gerindra dengan 15,6 juta suara (12,8%).

Secara berturut-turut, PKB dan Nasdem berada di urutan berikutnya, masing-masing dengan 13,1 juta suara (10,7%) dan 12,2 juta suara (10%).

Partai Demokrat, PKS, dan Partai Amanat Nasional per Selasa pagi juga telah melampaui ambang batas parlemen sebesar 4%.

Selain yang telah disebut di atas, partai lain belum melampaui ambang batas parlemen, termasuk Partai Persatuan Pembangunan yang selama ini selalu lolos ke Senayan.

Mereka baru meraih 4,6 juta suara (3,8%). PPP berpeluang menempatkan kader ke DPR juga suara mereka melonjak di 14 dapil yang akan direkapitulasi hari ini.

pemilu, indonesia
Keterangan gambar,Komisioner Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) Betty Epsilon Idroos (kiri) berjabat tangan dengan tim kuasa hukum usai menjadi saksi untuk tujuh terdakwa kasus dugaaan tindak pidana pemilihan umum (pemilu) terkait penambahan data Daftar Pemilih Tetap (DPT) di Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia di Pengadilan Negeri Jakarta Pusat, Senin (18/03). Dalam kesaksiannya Betty menjelaskan sejumlah masalah yang menyebabkan terjadinya pemungutan suara ulang di Malaysia.

Masalah apa saja yang masih mengganjal?

Berbagai persoalan mewarnai proses penetapan rekapitulasi suara oleh KPU dari tingkat kabupaten/kota, provinsi, dan nasional. Berbagai kalangan juga telah mengadukan dugaan kecurangan kepada Bawaslu.

Sejumlah KPU di tingkat kabupaten, kota, dan provinsi bahkan gagal menyelesaikan rekapitulasi suara sesuai tenggat.

Merujuk Peraturan KPU 5/2024, rekapitulasi suara di tingkat kabupaten/kota harus selesai maksimal 5 Maret, sementara untuk tingkat provinsi paling lambat 10 Maret.

Akibat proses yang molor, Ketua KPU Hasyim Asy’ari mengeluarkan surat dinas Nomor 454/PL/01/8-SD/05/2024.

Melalui surat itu, Hasyim meminta KPU di daerah terus melanjutkan rekapitulasi suara meski telah melewati tenggat waktu.

Tenggat waktu rekapitulasi suara mengikat KPU secara hukum, kata Fadli Ramadhani, peneliti dari Perkumpulan untuk Pemilu dan Demokrasi.

Dia berkata, KPU wajib memenuhi tenggat waktu itu agar proses tahapan pemilu dapat berjalan.

Di saat KPU terikat untuk mematuhi tenggat waktu, Fadhli menyebut Bawaslu dapat secara simultan memeriksa dugaan kecurangan yang diadukan kepada mereka.

“Jika kecurangan terbukti terjadi dalam proses penegakan hukum oleh Bawaslu, perbaikan dan koreksi dapat dilakukan dalam proses rekapitulasi KPU,” kata Fadhli.

“Misalnya, jika terjadi kecurangan di tingkat kecamatan, koreksi suara bisa dilakukan ke tingkat kabupaten/kota. Pelaku dapat disanksi oleh Bawaslu. Begitu juga kecurangan pada tingkat selanjutnya,” tuturnya.

Fadhli berkata, dugaan kecurangan hanya dapat diselidiki dan diputus oleh Bawaslu.

“Bagaimana sikap Bawaslu? Mereka sengaja tidak menyelesaikan laporan, tidak menemukan bukti atau bagaimana?” kata Fadhli.

Anggota Bawaslu, Lolly Suhenty, membuat klaim bahwa lembaganya akan mempercepat penanganan dugaan kecurangan.

Lolly berkata, Bawaslu akan mengambil putusan soal kecurangan sebelum tenggat penetapan rekapitulasi hasil penghitungan suara pada 20 Maret.

“Kecuali perkara-perkara yang memang sifatnya lebih kompleks sehinga tidak bisa diambil putusannya sebelum tanggal 20. Tentu kami juga harus menghormati proses yang berjalan nanti di MK,” kata Lolly.

Fadhli menuturkan, satu-satunya jalan untuk mempersoalkan dugaan kecurangan soal penghitungan suara pasca penetapan pemenang Pemilu hanyalah Mahkamah Konstitusi.

pemilu, indonesia
Keterangan gambar,Sejumlah massa dari berbagai organisasi melakukan aksi dengan membakar ban di depan KPU, Jakarta, Senin (18/03). Mereka meminta KPU memutuskan hasil Pemilu 2024 dengan jujur dan adil serta medesak pemerintah membentuk lembaga independen untuk mangaudit forensic sistem IT KPU.

Bagaimana sikap tim pemenangan capres-cawapres?

Pasangan Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD menyatakan akan fokus mempersoalkan kecurangan yang bersifat terstruktur, sistematis, dan masif.

Ketua tim hukum Ganjar-Mahfud, Todung Mulya Lubis, sebelumnya berkata kepada BBC News Indonesia bahwa mereka pasti akan membawa dugaan kecurangan Pilpres ke MK.

Kubu Anies-Muhaimin juga telah menyatakan rencana mereka mengajukan gugatan ke MK.

Mereka membuat klaim telah mengantongi berbagai data dan bukti untuk menguatkan dalil kepada hakim konstitusi.

“Pengacara dari Tim Hukum AMIN ada 1.000 orang yang akan support di MK,” kata Iwan dalam keterangannya, Jumat pekan lalu.

Di sisi lain, kubu Prabowo-Gibran menyebut tidak terjadi kecurangan apapun dalam proses rekapitulasi suara oleh KPU. Apalagi, klaim kubu pasangan itu, masyarakat turut mengawasi proses penghitungan suara.

“Tidak ada suara rakyat yang dicurangi dalam rekapitulasi. Hasilnya untuk pilpres kami menilai secara umum rekapitulasi suara oleh KPU berlangsung dengan sangat baik dan lancar,” kata Juru Bicara Tim Kampanye Nasional Prabowo-Gibran, Budisatrio Djiwandono, melalui keterangan pers, Selasa pagi.

Demo mewarnai proses rekap suara KPU

Selama beberapa pekan terakhir, sejumlah unjuk rasa berlangsung di kantor KPU. Berbagai kelompok menuntut KPU dan Bawaslu mengusut dugaan kecurangan yang terjadi selama tahapan Pilpres.

Senin kemarin, misalnya, kelompok yang menamakan diri mereka Koalisi Nasional Penyelamat Demokrasi, berunjuk rasa menentang kecurangan pemilu.

Lebih dari itu, mereka juga menyampaikan aspirasi soal pencopotan Jokowi dari kursi presiden.

Anggota KPU, August Mellaz, menyebut unjuk rasa adalah bagian dari setiap proses pemilu dari tahun ke tahun.

Namun dia enggan mengafirmasi dugaan-dugaan yang disebut oleh kelompok pengunjuk rasa. Menurutnya, KPU telah bekerja secara transparan, termasuk dengan proses pengawasan pihak eksternal.

“Kalau tudingan ke KPU termasuk unjuk rasa kan sudah ada kalau dilihat Pemilu sebelumnya sama proses-proses rekapitulasi menjelang penetapan kan pasti ada unjuk rasa. Tapi itu bagian yang normal saja,” ujarnya di kantor KPU, kemarin. https://kolechai.com/

Christopher Saunders: Former Bishop of Broome charged with rape in Australia

Catholic cross

Australian bishop Christopher Saunders has been charged with rape and a string of historical sex offences – some against children.

The 74-year-old was arrested in Broome on Wednesday, after parallel investigations ordered by Western Australia police and the Pope.

Mr Saunders has indicated he will plead not guilty to all charges against him.

He is one of the most senior Catholic clerics to face charges of this nature.

Mr Saunders is charged with two counts of rape, 14 counts of unlawful and indecent assault, and three counts of indecently dealing with a child as a person in authority.

The alleged offending occurred in the remote West Australian towns of Broome, Kununurra and the Aboriginal community of Kalumburu between 2008 and 2014.

He was released on bail on Thursday and ordered to reside at his home until his next hearing in June, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Aside from the late Cardinal George Pell, who was jailed and then acquitted, Mr Saunders is the most senior Catholic official in the country to be charged with child sex offences.

In a statement on Thursday, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference promised to cooperate with police, and said the charges against Mr Saunders were “very serious and deeply distressing, especially for those making those allegations”.

“It is right and proper, and indeed necessary, that all such allegations be thoroughly investigated,” Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe said.

First ordained in 1976, Mr Saunders has spent most of his career in the remote Kimberley region in the nation’s north-west corner, and was appointed Bishop of Broome in 1996.

The diocese stretches about 770,000 sq km (297,000 sq miles) – an area roughly the size of Turkey – and encompasses some of the most remote parts of the country.

Well known for socialising, his advocacy work, and escorting young men on camping and fishing trips, Mr Saunders has long been a powerful figure within the local community. There is also a beer named after him.

The accusations were first aired in 2020, but the initial police investigation that followed was closed without charge.

He voluntarily stood down as the Bishop of Broome in 2020, but remains an emeritus bishop.

However after a historic inquiry was ordered by the Pope, police began a new investigation.

Only a handful of Vos Estis Lux Mundi inquiries have been undertaken around the world. Meaning “You Are the Light of the World” in Latin, Vos Estis investigations are commissioned by the pontiff and were introduced in 2019 to combat sexual abuse and take action against bishops and other high-ranking officials in the Catholic Church. https://kolechai.com/

Shohei Ohtani: Baseball superstar announces marriage to Japanese woman

The Los Angles Dodgers stars has closely guarded his private life
Image caption,The Los Angeles Dodgers star has closely guarded his private life

Baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani, one of Japan’s most eligible bachelors, has announced that he is married, stirring a frenzy on social media.

The Los Angeles Dodgers star’s announcement came as a shock as he has closely guarded his private life.

“I wanted everyone to know I am now married,” the 29-year-old said on Thursday in an Instagram post.

Ohtani described his Japanese bride as someone “who is very special to me” but did not disclose her identity.

“Two people (plus one dog), we’ll grow together,” he told his seven million Instagram followers, adding that he would hold a press conference on Friday.

Last year, Ohtani made history when he signed a record-breaking 10-year, $700m (£552m) contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers – making him one of the world’s highest-earning athletes.

Unlike most players who specialise in batting or pitching, Ohtani is equally skilled at both disciplines, drawing comparisons with American baseball legend Babe Ruth.

He has been given the nickname “Shotime” and has been described as among the world’s best players.

On social media, congratulatory messages poured in after Ohtani made the announcement in his post on Instagram, which got one million likes in less than an hour.

But quite a few were also heartbroken that the Japanese nation’s sweetheart was no longer available.

“Shohei Ohtani is married. This is the worst day of my life,” one post read.

“I am so happy for him and congrats to him and his wife. I love that he was able to announce it on his own and on his own terms,” another post read.

Ohtani, who is in the US for training, also received well wishes from his team.

“When you have a baseball game and a wedding to get to on the same day. Congratulations to Shohei Ohtani on his new marriage,” the LA Dodgers said in a post on X, accompanied by a video of him in action during a game.

Ohtani left fans guessing over who his bride could be.

“Isn’t it amazing that this woman was able to get in his strict schedule and successfully got married?” one social media user wrote.

Baseball is hugely popular in Japan and Ohtani is part of a long line of Japanese players to see action in the American league.

Shortly after his announcement, Ohtani occupied the entire top five topics on X’s Japan trending topics.

One thing his wife will have to navigate is Ohtani’s need for large amounts of high quality sleep – this is said to be a key factor underpinning his success.

“Sleep is my top priority,” says the star, who has special custom-made pillows, and fits in naps on planes and buses and in changing rooms before and after games, Kyodo News reports. https://kolechai.com/

Julian Assange put lives at risk by publishing secrets – US

A supporter of Julian Assange outside court on Wednesday
Image caption,A supporter of Julian Assange outside court on Wednesday

Julian Assange “put lives at risk” by releasing classified US documents and should be extradited to face justice, a High Court hearing has been told.

Lawyers for the US said Mr Assange revealed the names of sources when he used Wikileaks to release unredacted files on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

The hearing is the latest in his five-year battle to fight extradition.

On Tuesday his lawyers said the US case was “state retaliation” and therefore extradition would be against UK law.

If his appeal is turned down, Mr Assange, 52, could be extradited within weeks.

The US legal team told the court that Mr Assange faces allegations he encouraged and assisted Chelsea Manning, a US intelligence analyst, in obtaining around 400,000 Iraq war-related activity reports and 250,000 US State Department cables.

Clair Dobbin KC said the plans to extradite and prosecute Mr Assange, who founded Wikileaks, were based on his alleged actions, not his political opinions.

She said there were “profound consequences”, with some of the named sources in the documents, who had provided information to the US, facing arrest, the loss of assets, threats and harassment.

“This wasn’t a slip, or an error, this was the publication of a vast amount of material unredacted,” Ms Dobbin told the hearing.

In written submissions, Ms Dobbin and James Lewis KC described the leak as “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States”.

“It is specifically alleged against the appellant that by publishing this information on the WikiLeaks website, he created a grave and imminent risk that the human sources named therein would suffer serious physical harm.”

Ms Dobbin said: “The administration in the US of course changed during these proceedings… but nonetheless the prosecution of the appellant remains in foot. Because it is based on law and evidence, not political inspiration.”

Stella Assange, the wife of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaks to supporters outside the high court
Image caption,Stella Assange, the wife of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaks to supporters outside the high court

The arguments are the latest attempt by Australian Mr Assange to fight his extradition to the US.

He has been in Belmarsh prison in London since his arrest in 2019 at the request of US authorities.

In a January 2021 ruling, a district judge said that Mr Assange should not be sent to the US, citing a real and “oppressive” risk of suicide.

However, the judge ruled against him on all other issues, including the argument that he was acting as a journalist.

Later that year, the US authorities won a High Court bid to overturn that decision, paving the way for extradition to face conspiracy charges.

The latest hearing has been brought by Mr Assange, who is now asking for the right to challenge the original judge’s dismissal of other parts of his case.

Ms Dobbin said on Tuesday, the first day of the hearing, that the original judge “rejected outright” that Mr Assange should be treated like a journalist “or what he did could fall under the ambit of responsible journalism”.

‘Political motivations’

Mark Summers KC argued on Tuesday that the US prosecution of Mr Assange would be retribution for his political opinions, meaning it would be unlawful to extradite him under UK law.

He said: “This is a paradigm example of state retaliation for the expression of political opinion. The district judge did not address it – had she done so, it would have been fatal to her decision.”

Mr Summers later told the court that the US authorities had allegedly developed a “breath-taking” plan to either kill or kidnap Mr Assange while he was in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he remained for around seven years.

The barrister later said the plan “only fell apart when the UK authorities weren’t very keen on the thought of rendition, or a shootout, in the streets of London”.

Edward Fitzgerald KC, also for Mr Assange, later said he is being prosecuted for an “ordinary journalistic practice”.

The hearing ended on Wednesday with the judges saying they will rule later. Their judgement is not expected before mid-March, based on timelines indicated in court.

If Mr Assange is refused permission to appeal, his only opportunity to avoid being sent to the US is to ask the European Court of Human Rights to stop the flight.

If he wins permission, he will remain in jail while that case is prepared for later in the year. https://kolechai.com/

Germany legalises cannabis, but makes it hard to buy

A costumed cannabis supporter holds a banner against prohibition during the annual Hemp Parade on August 12, 2023 in Berlin, Germany
Image caption,Police in some areas of Germany, including Berlin, already turn a blind eye to smoking of cannabis in public

The German parliament has backed a new law to allow the recreational use of cannabis.

Under the law, over-18s in Germany will be allowed to possess substantial amounts of cannabis, but strict rules will make it difficult to buy the drug.

Smoking cannabis in many public spaces will become legal from 1 April.

Possession of up to 25g, equivalent to dozens of strong joints, is to be allowed in public spaces. In private homes the legal limit will be 50g.

Already police in some parts of Germany, such as Berlin, often turn a blind eye to smoking in public, although possession of the drug for recreational use is illegal and can be prosecuted. 

Use of the drug among young people has been soaring for years despite the existing law, says Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who is instigating the reforms.

He wants to undermine the black market, protect smokers from contaminated cannabis and cut revenue streams for organised crime gangs.

But legal cannabis cafes will not suddenly spring up all over the country.

A ferocious debate about decriminalising cannabis has been raging for years in Germany, with doctors’ groups expressing concerns for young people and conservatives saying that liberalisation will fuel drug use.

Simone Borchardt of the opposition conservative CDU told the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, that the government had gone ahead with its “completely unnecessary, confused law” regardless of warnings from doctors, police and psychotherapists.

But Mr Lauterbach said the current situation was no longer tenable: “The number of consumers aged between 18 and 25 has doubled in the past 10 years.”

As so often in Germany, the law approved by MPs on Friday afternoon is complicated.

Smoking cannabis in some areas, such as near schools and sports grounds, will still be illegal. Crucially, the market will be strictly regulated so buying the drug will not be easy.

Original plans to allow licensed shops and pharmacies to sell cannabis have been scrapped over EU concerns that this could lead to a surge in drug exports.

Instead, non-commercial members’ clubs, dubbed “cannabis social clubs”, will grow and distribute a limited amount of the drug.

Each club will have an upper limit of 500 members, consuming cannabis onsite will not be allowed, and membership will only be available to German residents.

Growing your own cannabis will also be permitted, with up to three marijuana plants allowed per household.

This means that Germany could be in the paradoxical position of allowing possession of rather large amounts of the drug, while at the same time making it difficult to purchase.

Regular smokers would benefit, but occasional users would struggle to buy it legally and tourists would be excluded. Critics say this will simply fuel the black market.

Over the next few years, the government wants to assess the impact of the new law, and eventually introduce the licensed sale of cannabis.

But given how tortuous the debate has been so far, nothing is certain.

Meanwhile, opposition conservatives say that if they get into government next year, they will scrap the law entirely. Germany is unlikely to become Europe’s new Amsterdam anytime soon. https://kolechai.com/

Bertemu Jokowi, Surya Paloh disebut sedang penjajakan koalisi Prabowo-Gibran

Presiden Jokowi dan Ketua Umum Nasdem, Surya Paloh dalam konferensi pers bersama pada tahun 2018.
Keterangan gambar,Presiden Jokowi dan Ketua Umum Nasdem, Surya Paloh dalam konferensi pers bersama pada tahun 2018.

Pertemuan Presiden Jokowi dengan Surya Paloh di Istana Negara pada Minggu (18/02) malam memicu banyak spekulasi. Mulai dari dugaan bahwa Surya Paloh dan Partai NasDem diajak masuk koalisi pemerintahan Prabowo-Gibran hingga “penjinakan” agar Surya Paloh menerima kekalahan dalam kontestasi Pilpres 2024.

Presiden Jokowi sendiri mengatakan bahwa dirinya adalah “jembatan” bagi urusan partai-partai dalam pertemuan tersebut.

Hingga saat ini belum ada pernyataan resmi dari Surya Paloh.

Namun, Ketua DPP Nasdem, Willy Aditya, berkata terlalu dini apabila jamuan makan malam tersebut diartikan bahwa partainya akan bersatu dengan kubu Jokowi lagi.

Apa yang dibicarakan Jokowi dan Surya Paloh?

Pengamat komunikasi politik dari Universitas Multimedia Nusantara, Silvanus Alvin, mengatakan pertemuan antara Presiden Jokowi dengan Ketua Umum Nasdem Surya Paloh menjadi “magnet besar” bagi publik.

Sebab dalam Pilpres 2024, keduanya berada di kubu yang berseberangan. Surya Paloh menjadi pengusung pasangan Anies-Muhaimin yang menyuarakan ide perubahan. Adapun Presiden Jokowi mendukung putranya Gibran Rakabuming Raka yang bersanding dengan Prabowo Subianto.

Menurut Alvin, pertemuan yang dibarengi makan malam tersebut membicarakan sejumlah isu.

Mulai dari keinginan untuk mengembalikan “rasa konsolidasi” yang dulu pernah ada – mengingat pada Pemilu 2014 dan 2019 partai Nasdem menjadi penyokong Jokowi -hingga upaya mengajak Nasdem “kembali menjadi bagian pemerintahan”.

“Karena Nasdem ini dari Pemilu 2014, 2019 di dalam pemerintahan, dia punya rekam jejak bersama Presiden Jokowi ketika menjadi capres untuk pertama kalinya,” ujar Silvanus Alvin kepada BBC News Indonesia.

Ketua Umum Partai Nasdem Surya Paloh menyampaikan pidato saat kampanye terbuka Partai Nasdem di Pelataran Benteng Kuto Besak (BKB) Palembang, Sumatera Selatan, Rabu (31/1/2024).
Keterangan gambar,Ketua Umum Partai Nasdem Surya Paloh menyampaikan pidato saat kampanye terbuka Partai Nasdem di Pelataran Benteng Kuto Besak (BKB) Palembang, Sumatera Selatan, Rabu (31/1/2024).

Pengamat politik dari Centre for strategic and international Studies (CSIS), Nicky Fahrizal, juga sependapat.

Ia menduga, pembicaraan keduanya sudah mengarah pada penjajakan koalisi dengan kubu Prabowo-Gibran. Apalagi Presiden Jokowi menyebut dirinya sebagai jembatan untuk urusan partai-partai.

Pasalnya gaya pemerintahan Prabowo tak akan jauh berbeda dengan Jokowi yang “sebisa mungkin merangkul semua partai agar tidak tercipta oposisi yang efektif”.

“Dan bisa juga strategi bersama. Prabowo akan melakukan kunjungan ke Pak Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yang punya hubungan pasang surut dengan Jokowi.”

Berbeda dengan Nicky, pakar politik dari Universitas Muhammadiyah Kupang, Ahmad Atang, berkata penjajakan untuk berkoalisi kembali terlalu dini disampaikan Jokowi kepada Surya Paloh.

Karena bagaimanapun penghitungan suara oleh KPU masih berjalan meskipun berdasarkan hitung cepat sejumlah lembaga survei menempatkan Prabowo-Gibran unggul telak.

Ia menduga arah pembicaraan itu bagian dari “upaya menjinakkan” kubu Surya Paloh yang selama ini kencang menyuarakan adanya dugaan kecurangan.

“Penjinakan kepada Surya Paloh bahwa sekarang kami sudah menang, tidak perlu lagi keras-keras dan terima kekalahan,” ujar Ahmad Atang.

“Atau pertemuan itu sebagai bagian dari upaya melakukan cooling down dinamika politik yang sedang tinggi terutama di kubu Anies-Muhaimin yang sangat menentang hasil quick count.”

Apa jawaban Nasdem?

Hingga saat ini belum ada pernyataan resmi dari Surya Paloh.

Namun Ketua DPP Nasdem, Willy Aditya, menuturkan pertemuan itu hanya membahas dinamika politik yang berkembang saat ini.

Ia juga berkata terlalu dini apabila pertemuan tersebut diartikan bahwa Nasdem akan bersatu dengan kubu Jokowi lagi.

“Ah terlalu dini, Pak Surya orang yang tegas dengan sikap-sikap beliau. Jadi kita saling menghormati,” ucapnya di Nasdem Tower.

Presiden Joko Widodo.
Keterangan gambar,Presiden Joko Widodo.

Sebelumnya Presiden Jokowi mengatakan pertemuannya dengan Ketua Umum Nasdem Surya Paloh di Istana Merdeka, pada Minggu (18/02) malam, untuk menjadi “jembatan” atau sebutnya menjembatani sesuatu.

Hal itu disampaikannya usai meresmikan RS Pusat Pertahanan Negara Panglima Besar Soedirman dan 20 RS TNI di Jakarta Selatan.

Presiden melanjutkan adapun soal urusan politik, ia serahkan kepada partai-partai. Dia berkata hanya ingin menjadi penghubung komunikasi terhadap semua hal.

“Saya itu sebetulnya hanya jadi jembatan. Yang penting nanti partai-partai [yang mengurus]. Saya ingin menjadi jembatan untuk semuanya.”

Ia kemudian berkata, pertemuan tersebut akan sangat bermanfaat bagi perpolitikan di Indonesia.

Dia pun tak mau ambil pusing terkait pihak mana yang meminta pertemuan itu terlebih dahulu – apakah dari pihak Istana maupun Nasdem.

“Saya kira dua-duanya enggak perlu lah siapa yang undang. Yang paling penting memang ada pertemuan itu dan itu akan sangat bermanfaat bagi perpolitikan negara kita.”

Mengapa Jokowi mau merangkul semua partai masuk dalam pemerintahan Prabowo-Gibran?

Pengamat politik Nicky Fahrizal mengatakan dalam sejarah politik Indonesia tradisi oposisi yang efektif terakhir terjadi di era demokrasi liberal pada tahun 1950-an, atau yang dikenal sebagai demokrasi parlementer.

Tetapi ketika kembali ke sistem presidensial, keberadaan oposisi semakin mengecil. Catatan adanya oposisi hanya kala PDIP tidak menjadi partai pemenang pemilu.

“Masuk era reformasi di awal, makin naik turun,” sebut Nicky.

“Jadi desain sistem ketatanegaraan kita membentuk model pemerintahan yang oposisinya tidak efektif.”

Ketua Umum Partai PDI Perjuangan Megawati Soekarnoputri disebut siap menjadi oposisi pemerintahan Prabowo-Gibran.
Keterangan gambar,Ketua Umum Partai PDI Perjuangan Megawati Soekarnoputri disebut siap menjadi oposisi pemerintahan Prabowo-Gibran.

Akibat dari tidak kuatnya peran oposisi, pandangan kritis terhadap kebijakan pemerintah akan melemah.

Dan ketika terjadi kekeliruan di dalam pengambilan kebijakan, tidak akan ada yang mendorong perbaikan. Apalagi kalau suara kritis dari masyarakat sipil dibungkam.

Baginya saat Jokowi menyebut dirinya sebagai “jembatan” partai-partai, itu artinya dia tetaplah sebagai “king maker” sebelum dan sesudah pemilu.

“Ini semua memang seperti yang dia katakan setahun lalu mengatakan akan cawe-cawe, dan itu berhasil.”

Sementara itu, Silvanus Alvin menilai keinginan Prabowo maupun Jokowi yang ingin merangkul sebanyak-banyaknya partai supaya komunikasi dengan legislatif sebutnya lebih kondusif.

Apalagi untuk mewujudkan program-program kampanye yang selama ini disuarakan yakni makan siang gratis.

“Itu kan harus melewati proses di DPR untuk menggolkan anggarannya.”

Akan tetapi, dia menyayangkan langkah Presiden Jokowi -yang disebutnya melangkahi Prabowo- jika betul bahwa pertemuannya dengan Surya Paloh untuk menjajaki koalisi bersama di pemerintahan Prabowo-Gibran.

Menurut Alvin, Presiden Jokowi sebaiknya fokus saja pada sisa pemerintahannya untuk menuntaskan sejumlah kebijakannya dan yang utama menjaga kondusifitas bangsa.

“Saatnya Presiden Jokowi menjadi sosok negarawan yang memikirkan bangsa, di sisa [jabatan] ini selesaikan tugas dan menuntaskan kepemimpinannya dengan mulus.”

‘Tidak akan semudah itu’

Meskipun potensi Nasdem kembali masuk dalam bagian pemerintahan Prabowo-GIbran terbuka lebar, tapi pengamat komunikasi politik Silvanus Alvin menilai hal itu tidak akan mudah.

Sikap Nasdem, ucapnya, baru akan kelihatan setelah real count dari KPU selesai. Selain itu koalisi pengusung Anies-Muhaimin memiliki dukungan yang cukup kuat dari masyarakat untuk terus membawa gagasan perubahan.

“Bagaimanapun Nasdem yang pertama membawa narasi perubahan, kalau tiba-tiba berada dalam pemerintahan dan menerima ajakan [koalisi] dan Nasdem mau, saya rasa akan kurang positif impaknya bagi pengusung Nasdem yang di masa kampanye menyuarakan isu perubahan.”

“Seakan-akan setelah jagoannya kalah ditinggalkan.”

Calon presiden nomor urut 1 Anies Rasyid Baswedan (kiri) bersama Ketua Umum Partai Nasdem Surya Paloh (kanan) memenghadiri kampanye akbar Partai Nasdem di Pare Pare, Sulawesi Selatan, Selasa (6/2/2024).
Keterangan gambar,Calon presiden nomor urut 1 Anies Rasyid Baswedan (kiri) bersama Ketua Umum Partai Nasdem Surya Paloh (kanan) memenghadiri kampanye akbar Partai Nasdem di Pare Pare, Sulawesi Selatan, Selasa (6/2/2024).

Belum lagi keberadaan rekan di kubunya yakni Partai Keadilan Sejahtera yang konsisten dengan sikap politiknya menyatakan diri sebagai oposisi. Ditambah sikap PDI Perjuangan yang sudah menyebut siap menjadi oposisi.

Pakar politik dari Universitas Muhammadiyah Kupang, Ahmad Atang, sependapat. Dia meyakini Surya Paloh tidak akan segampang itu meninggalkan koalisi sebelum ada keputusan final dari KPU.

Paling tidak, sambung Ahmad Atang, jawaban diplomatis yang dilontarkan Surya Paloh dalam jamuan makan malam itu adalah “masih menunggu perhitungan resmi.”

Apa tanggapan koalisi Anies-Muhaimin?

Ketua Fraksi PKB di DPR, Cucun Ahmad Syamsurijal, menyebut pertemuan Ketum NasDem Surya Paloh dengan Presiden Jokowi tak ada koordinasi dengan ketum partai koalisi dan Timnas Anies-Muhaimin (AMIN).

Meski dia menilai pertemuan Surya Paloh dengan Jokowi merupakan hak Nasdem sebagai partai. PKB, katanya, akan tetap pada sikapnya yakni mengawal pemilu hingga penghitungan resmi dari KPU tuntas.

Namun demikian, Ketua DPP PKB, Daniel Johan mengingatkan bahwa parpol-parpol anggota Koalisi Perubahan atau koalisi pengusung capres dan cawapres Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar telah membuat kesepakatan tentang langkah yang bakal dilakukan di tengah tahapan pemilu.

Cawapres nomor urut 1, Muhaimin Iskandar (tengah) didampingi calon legislatif dari PKB Anggia Ermarini (kanan) berkampanye di sentra budi daya ikan air tawar Desa Wates, Tulungagung, Jawa Timur, Kamis (25/1/2024).
Keterangan gambar,Cawapres nomor urut 1, Muhaimin Iskandar (tengah) didampingi calon legislatif dari PKB Anggia Ermarini (kanan) berkampanye di sentra budi daya ikan air tawar Desa Wates, Tulungagung, Jawa Timur, Kamis (25/1/2024).

Koalisi yang terdiri dari PKB, Nasdem, dan PKS membuat konsensus untuk sama-sama mengawal perolehan suara, baik yang terkait pemilihan presiden (Pilpres) maupun pemilihan anggota legislatif (Pileg) setiap partai.

“Kesepakatan itu yang seharusnya dipegang partai saat ini, termasuk Nasdem, ketika proses pemilu masih pada tahapan rekapitulasi suara,” kata Daniel seperti dilansir Kompas.com.

Dia juga mengatakan belum ada undangan Jokowi kepada partainya.

Sama seperti PKB, juru bicara PKS Muhammad Kholid mengatakan pertemuan Surya Paloh dengan Presiden Jokowi merupakan hak Nasdem dan tidak memengaruhi apapun sikap PKS. https://kolechai.com/

KPU Jateng: Pemilu susulan di Demak digelar 24 Februari

KPU Jateng: Pemilu susulan di Demak digelar 24 Februari
Ketua Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) Jawa Tengah Handi Tri Ujiono. (ANTARA/I C Senjaya)

Semarang (ANTARA) – Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) Jawa Tengah mengatakan bahwa pelaksanaan pemilihan umum susulan di Kabupaten Demak yang terdampak banjir direncanakan pada 24 Februari 2024.

Ketua KPU Jateng Handi Tri Ujiono, di Semarang, Minggu, mengatakan bahwa Panitia Pemilihan Kecamatan (PPK) Karanganyar, Kabupaten Demak, telah melaksanakan rapat pleno membahas rencana pemilu susulan.

Rapat pleno itu membahas mengenai putusan hari dan tanggal pemungutan suara dan penghitungan suara susulan Pemilihan Umum 2024 pada 10 desa di Kecamatan Karanganyar yang terdampak banjir.

“KPU Kabupaten Demak kemudian memutuskan untuk menetapkan hari Sabtu, 24 Februari 2024 sebagai hari dan tanggal pemungutan suara dan penghitungan suara susulan Pemilu 2024 pada 10 desa di Kecamatan Karanganyar,” katanya.

Namun, untuk tempat pemungutan suara, kata dia, hingga saat ini masih belum ditentukan, apakah tetap di tempat pemungutan suara (TPS) masing-masing, kantor kelurahan, atau tempat lainnya.

Menurut dia, KPU akan memperhatikan kondisi di lapangan terlebih dahulu, sembari menunggu banjir yang menggenangi 10 desa di Kecamatan Karanganyar, Kabupaten Demak, benar-benar surut.

Jika banjir belum surut, kata dia, pemilu susulan akan tetap dilaksanakan, misalnya terpaksa dengan merelokasi TPS, sebagaimana diamanatkan Undang-Undang Nomor 7/2017 tentang Pemilihan Umum.

“Dalam UU 7/2017, (pemilu susulan, red.) 10 hari setelah tanggal pemungutan dan penghitungan suara. Tidak bisa diundur, tetap dilaksanakan, dan dimungkinkan direlokasi TPS,” katanya.

Ada 10 desa di Kabupaten Demak yang terdampak banjir, yakni Desa Karanganyar, Wonoketingal, Cangkring Rembang, Cangkring, Undaan Kidul, Undaan Lor. Ngemplik Wetan, Wonorejo, Ketanjung, dan Desa Jatirejo.

Di 10 desa tersebut terdapat 27.669 daftar pemilih tetap (DPT) yang tersebar di 114 TPS, yang terbagi sebanyak 13.888 merupakan pemilih laki-laki dan 13.781 pemilih perempuan.

Selain di Demak, ada 26 tempat pemungutan suara (TPS) di 13 kabupaten/kota yang direkomendasikan melakukan pemungutan suara ulang (PSU) oleh Badan Pengawas Pemilu (Bawaslu) Jateng karena dugaan pelanggaran, baik secara teknis maupun nonteknis.

Sebanyak 13 kabupaten/kota tersebut telah melaksanakan PSU pada Minggu ini, sedangkan pemilu susulan untuk Kabupaten Demak baru akan dilaksanakan pada Sabtu (24/2) mendatang karena pertimbangan masih terdampak banjir. https://kolechai.com/

DPD RI dorong penguatan peran tokoh dalam meningkatkan demokrasi

DPD RI dorong penguatan peran tokoh dalam meningkatkan demokrasi
Anggota DPD RI, Teras Narang. (ANTARA/HO-Tim Teras Narang)

Palangka Raya (ANTARA) –

Anggota DPD RI Agustin Teras Narang mendorong penguatan peran dari para tokoh dalam upaya meningkatkan pengimplementasian demokrasi secara optimal di tengah masyarakat.

Teras Narang dalam keterangan yang diterima di Palangka Raya, Rabu, menyatakan dirinya melakukan pertemuan dan membahas masalah demokrasi hingga penguatan lembaga adat, kepada sejumlah tokoh masyarakat yang ada di Kabupaten Murung Raya, Kalimantan Tengah.

“Dalam pertemuan tersebut terungkap mutu masyarakat dalam berdemokrasi dan menghargai perbedaan pilihan maupun pendapat harus terus ditingkatkan,” katanya.

Atas kondisi itu, dirinya melihat peran para tokoh, baik itu tokoh adat, tokoh agama maupun tokoh masyarakat, perlu dioptimalkan dalam meningkatkan mutu demokrasi di masyarakat.

Senator asal Kalimantan Tengah itu pun menyarankan sekaligus mendorong pemerintah daerah, memberi perhatian dan kesejahteraan atas peran para tokoh tersebut. Sebab, sebagai simpul serta suluh di masyarakat, peran para tokoh ini menjadi penting dalam membantu pemerintah daerah.

Teras Narang mengatakan, pemda jangan sampai abai terhadap peningkatan kapasitas dari para tokoh di Kalimantan Tengah, terkhusus di Murung Raya.

“Dengan begitu, para tokoh lebih berdaya dalam melakukan pemberdayaan terhadap masyarakat, terkhusus di komunitasnya masing-masing,” kata dia.

Mengenai rusaknya demokrasi dan mental masyarakat karena politik uang, mantan Gubernur Kalimantan Tengah periode 2005-215 itu pun bercerita tentang pengalamannya pertama kali masuk ke dunia politik sejak tahun 1998.

Di mana, sejak saat itu, dirinya selalu menolak politik uang. Bahkan saat akan menjadi kepala daerah, dirinya juga tidak mau maju dengan cara transaksional, sampai akhirnya pimpinan partai dengan arif mendorong dirinya maju tanpa mahar.

“Itulah yang membuat saya bebas tanpa beban melayani masyarakat Kalimantan Tengah,” ungkap Teras Narang.

Mantan Anggota DPR RI periode 1999-2004 dan 2004-2005 ini pun berharap, para tokoh masyarakat yang maju dalam kontestasi pemilihan umum tahun 2024, baik pilpres maupun pileg, agar membawa nilai ini juga sebagai pembeda dalam kontestasi politik.

“Kalau kita memang berjuang dan ditakdirkan mendapat amanah, maka kita akan mendapatkannya. Bila tidak, berapa pun uang yang dipakai membeli suara, tak akan membawa kita pada amanah yang seharusnya,” demikian Teras Narang. https://kolechai.com/