TEMPO.CO, Kendari - Thursday afternoon, the first week of December 2015, dozens of people gathered at the Mowila Konawe Utara District office, Southeast Sulawesi. From 9:00 a.m. local time, a number of residents were already in the sub-district office hall. That day the local government of North Konawe will hand over motorized vehicles to village heads. Aswad as Regent of North Konawe will hand over the iron horse directly.
Head of the North Konawe Village Community Empowerment Agency (BPMD), Alfian, who was met by the Tempo crew, revealed that the provision of vehicles for village heads had nothing to do with the moment of the regional head elections which took place in North Konawe. The North Konawe Regency Government, he said, had deliberately allocated a budget of Rp 1.3 billion from the 2015 Revised Regional Revenue and Expenditure Budget for the procurement of 90 units of motorized vehicles for village servants spread across 159 villages / wards in the area.
According to Alfian, this year's giving of motorbikes is only for village heads who do not have operational vehicles. "There is no political tendency, is this a form of Regent Aswad's attention?" Alfian said.
The head of the winning team for the pair known by the acronym Abdiku, Hikmat Ilham Anshari, said that initially Aswad would hand over assistance for motorbikes and tractors. But somehow he failed to do the surrender plan. Village heads with happy faces received motorbikes from the Konut local government. Aswad himself only witnessed that the handover was carried out by the Head of BPMD North Konawe.
In the run-up to the election for the regent and deputy regent, which was followed by three pairs of candidates, social assistance funds (bansos) increased dramatically in North Konawe. Data obtained by Tempo from the Association for Democracy and Elections (Perludem), North Konawe is the area with the highest increase in social assistance funds in Indonesia after South Bangka which reached 601.5 percent and Labuhan Batu Utara Regency 432.9 percent. The increase was super big, almost reaching 2,000 percent or 1,884 percent, up Rp. 4.8 billion from the previous year.
Aswad Sulaiman and his running mate Abuhaera became candidates for the incumbent regional head promoted by the PDIP, Gerindra Party and the Hanura Party.
Agus Sunaryanto from International Corruption Watch (ICW) revealed that incumbents who progress in the regional elections have the potential to win. From ICW's research, even though this is the first time simultaneous regional elections have been held, the incumbents still use the old method to gain votes. What is commonly done is that uncontrolled use of social assistance funds or grants can be misused for political interests.
The incumbent holds the resources, especially the APBD. Indeed it does not vulgarly buy votes, but again this is a way to get political support ,? said Agus.