Recently Benny Wenda declared Provisional Government of West Papua, self-proclaimed himself as the president, and even publish his imagined cabinet.
What we know about this is that Benny Wenda is desperately dreaming to be a president and uses various means to manipulate publics. In the history of direct election in Indonesia since 2004, Papuans are politically matured community.
Voter turnout in Papua since Indonesia first direct election in 2004, which is above national average show us this fact. It means, Papuans are well informed and logically choose their leaders, whether it is local leader or national leaders.
Based on this fact, it cannot be denied that Papuan are good citizen who consciously follows the democratic process in Papua. The fact that Papuan involved many times in local-national democracy through various levels of elections, also proved that they are politically mature community.
Compared to other fellows Melanesian in the region, Papuan are internationally recognized as the largest democracy community.
Papuans Are Democratic
Papuan voter turnout in many elections is higher when compared to another provinces in Indonesia. In the presidential election 2019, voter turnout was lower than in 2014, but the government can still count on a good electoral result in both Papua and West Papua provinces.
Papuan voters acknowledge that President Joko Widodo has done a reasonable job of delivering development programs in the region. Surprisingly, the voter turnout reaches 90 percent in Papua Province and 88 percent in W est Papua Province.
Joko Widodo – Ma’ruf Amin obtained 99,66 percent or 3.021.713 votes in Papua Province and 79,82 percent or 508.8997 votes in West Papua Province (source: www.kpu.go.id).
Meanwhile in the Governor Election 2018, Indonesian Election Supervisory Body noted the highest percentage of voter participation in Papua Province. The number of voters there reached 2.910.510 people or 84 percent of the final voter list.
That figure was much higher than the official target at 77 percent (source:www.papua.kpu.go.id).
In the latest local election in December 2020, The head of the General Election Commission of Merauke Regency, Theresia Mahuze, appreciated the public because the voter participation in Merauke Local Election in 9th December 2020 had increased, even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Voter turnouts reach 71,51 percent or 38.737 voters.
Benny Wenda’s Recurent Manipulation
Papuan should be aware of various manipulations which carried out by Benny Wenda and his supporter.
Previously, Benny Wenda in 2019 claimed to submit petition for Papua referendum which signed by 1,8 million of Papuan. So far, there is no proof that there the petition is signed by real person and represent the wish of society.
Even there are no public record of signature collection event which supposed to be a big event in Papua. To fulfill his political desire, Benny Wenda also declared Provisional Government in 1 December 2020, which received resistance from various groups in Papua or outside of Papua.
Many groups consider ULMWP as a new organization and has no legitimacy to represent Papuan. Despite those facts, we are sure that Benny Wenda is only dreaming to become the Presidents of Papua while the factual voters vote majority for President Joko Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin and logically chose their respective local leaders through various direct election.
We are sure that Papuan Voters are mature, well informed, and logical to choose their true leaders. (*)