Entering the year of simultaneous regional elections, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) has asked the government to be wary of massive corrupt practices in the implementation of 2018 regional elections, 2019 legislative and presidential election. The argumentation is reasonable since ICW predicted that the cases of corruption in 2018 election will be just mutual to other previous elections. One of the points that need further attention is the existence of dowry from political parties. Not all parties have clearly stated about this, but they named it as donations. However, in terms of number, the amount of dowry is quite fantastic. One needs to prepare around 20-30 billion rupiahs to become a regent/major, while to become a governor, around 20-100 billion rupiahs is needed.

The gap between wealth and the cost of dowry makes anyone who would want to propose themselves, think hard how to get the money. Stated in the Regulations of General Elections Commission, No.5 of 2017, that the fund for a campaign could come from another source, such as donations from political parties, coalition, even private companies.

This is where the potential of conflicts of interest occurs. In most cases, mining company offers some funds for the regional leader’s candidates. Does the fund freely offer? Certainly, not. In returns, if the candidate gets elected, they have to receive a request from the donors,  which in most cases are to ease the publishing of mining land permission. This phenomenon is called “Ijon Politic“. Thus,  it must be wary of.

The ongoing phenomenon of deforestation is the effect of the illegal mining operation in every region. After the issuance of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) regulation, No. 11 of 2018 about Procedures for Regional Procedures, Licensing, and Reporting on Mining and Coal Mining Business Activities, mining permits for private companies are limited. They must compete with State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) and Regional Owned Enterprises (BUMD) that is relatively prioritized.

The narrowness of business opportunities, due to permit restrictions, makes private mining companies more aggressive in lobbying local government. This happens because The Head of Region, especially the Governor, is the party who has the authority to recommend to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to open the permit.

Even if the candidates have reported the amount of funding received, there may be other sources of the fund that are not reported transparently. The Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) supposed to check whether the person or the company has the capacity to provide some money.  However, it is still difficult for Bawaslu to prevent the potential of “Ijon Politic”. If indeed there is a reward in the form of granting of land permits, then such actions are considered as gratification. Therefore, Bawaslu has to work with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to solve this problem.