The Strategy for Extending the Term of Public Office, a Blessing or a Harm?

The Strategy for Extending the Term of Public Office, a Blessing or a Harm?

Di Wirrye

By: A Jefrino Fahik*

The discourse on extending the term of public office is rolling again. After the excitement over the extension of the village head’s term of office some time ago, now the agenda for extending the term of office of the president is being blown again.

The Minister of Security, Politics, Law and Security Mahfud MD repeated this narrative while speaking at the Leadership Meeting for Submission of Policy Directions for the National Defense Institute (Lemhanas) for Fiscal Year 2023, at Pancagatra, Lemhanas office, Jakarta, on Wednesday 1 February 2023.

“…..We can’t stop it when the heads of political parties (political parties), certain community groups say ‘It must be extended’. It’s not against the law,” said Mahfud.

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Responding to this, academics, students, and the general public expressed their rejection of the discourse. Denny, Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights during the era of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, for example, thinks that the idea of ​​extending the presidential term or postponing the election must be opposed.

“Initiating an extension of the presidential term is a form of violation of the 1945 Constitution.” Said the former professor of law and state administration at Gadja Mada University.

In my writing in the opinion section on Saturday 14 May 2022, Discourse in Public Spaces, It has been argued that selling such polemical issues is not only related to the efforts of politicians to find a political stage to contest the 2024 General Election, it also includes their intention to change the constitution of this Republic while at the same time harming the nature of our democracy.

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Now I realize that this view is incomplete. This is not just a matter of political strategy in seizing power in 2024. But it reflects one thing that is difficult to ignore in the tradition of political philosophy, which has developed since ancient times in Ancient Greece to this day, namely what is commonly called instinct/passion.

According to B Harry Priyono, it is the subject that has most markedly marked the course of political discourse and movement since ancient times to the present day.

Power instinct

The tradition of political philosophy is integral to the efforts of thinkers to explain the brutal march of the power of human instincts in the order of life together. Plato (427-347 BC), for example, explained that instinct in relation to the pursuit of virtue (arete) and the highest happiness (eudaimonia).