Published: 12 Mar 2020.
Open Access
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North Sumatra is one of the provinces that has held 2018 simultaneous local elections.
This local election was attended by two pairs of candidates, namely Eramas and Djoss.
Eramas won in the Regencies/Cities where the majority of the population was Muslim and
non-Batak ethnicity, while Djoss won in the Regencies/Cities where the majority of the
population was Christian and Batak ethnicity. In this case, it is thought that identity
politicization took place in each process of the elections. The purpose of this research was to
determine the process of political dynamics in the 2018 North Sumatra Local Election and to
identify forms of identity politicization in the 2018 North Sumatra Local Election.
This research uses descriptive qualitative method with data collection techniques through
interviews and documentation. In this study, primary data obtained through direct interviews
with informants determined from the linkage of these informants with research problems, and
secondary data obtained from Provincial KPU Decisions and related articles. The researcher
focused the informants on the main party cadres supporting the two candidate pairs, namely
the Gerindra Party and the PDI-Perjuangan Party, political consultants, and local political
The results of this study indicate that the process of identity politicization is carried out
by both pairs of candidates. However, identity politicization carried out by Djoss is not as
active as what Eramas does. Eramas intensively provides stimulus to the community related
to the issue of sons and daughters of religious issues, while the politicization of identity
carried out by Djoss was more about an abstark approach, there was no direct involvement
in any activity, but only attended without initiating it.
The process of identity politicization carried out by Eramas can be said to be their
strategy in winning the 2018 North Sumatra Local Election. This is an adoption of the
dynamics that occurred in the 2017 DKI Jakarta Local Election, while identity politicization
done by Djoss is a common thing as a complement to their vision and mission to build North
Sumatra. It is expected that each pair of candidates will prioritize socialization to the public
about the vision and mission and superior programs that will be carried out in developing the
region for the next period and to the next researcher, is expected to interview and explore as
much information as possible to key informants.

Keywords: The 2018 North Sumatra Local Election, Politicization of Identity, Ethnicity,

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