Candidates at odds with poll commission on campaign venue
Jakarta gubernatorial candidates failed to reach agreement on Friday with the capital’s electoral body over campaign venues.
In a meeting with the Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU Jakarta) on Friday, four of the six candidates for the capital’s top jobs elbowed each other to secure the best venues for their supporters to gather on campaign days.
The campaign teams of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and the Hidayat Nur Wahid-Didik J. Rachbini pair were competing for the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta, as the venue for their campaign rally, scheduled for July 1. The campaign teams of the Alex Noerdin-Nono Sampono pair and the Faisal Basri-Biem Benjamin pair also wished to use the stadium for their campaign activities on July 7.
The KPU Jakarta, which does not allow candidates to campaign on the same day at the same place, previously planned to determine the users of the stadium through a lottery during the meeting. The first drawing allowed the Jokowi-Ahok pair the right to use the stadium on July 1.
Representatives of Alex-Nono and Faisal-Biem, however, were enraged and walked out of the meeting after the second drawing following the KPU Jakarta’s announcement that the pair winning the second drawing would only be allowed to use facilities within the Senayan sports complex rather than the soccer stadium or the Istora
“Unfortunately, we have to announce to the candidates’ representatives that the Gelora Bung Karno stadium has been booked for another event on July 7,” KPU Jakarta campaign affairs head Suhartono said at the meeting.
Abu Sangadji, a representative of the Alex-Nono campaign team, reportedly lost his temper after listening to Suhartono’s statement and blasted the poll body as being “unprofessional”.
“You previously told us that we will be allowed to use the stadium — not other facilities within the complex,” Abu told the poll body commissioners. “The KPU Jakarta is supposed to be consistent. This definitely is another setback for the KPU Jakarta, which already sees its credibility being undermined [by its problematic voter list].”
Maringan Silaban, a representative of the Faisal-Biem ticket, said that using the 100,000-seat soccer stadium was “a huge advantage” for any candidate.
“The stadium is symbolic, as it is the largest soccer stadium in the country and is strategically located in the heart of Jakarta,” Maringan said.
The pairs of Fauzi Bowo-Nachrowi Ramli and Hendardji Soepandji-Ahmad Riza, who both are scheduled to conduct their campaigns on the same day, June 30, decided not to use the stadium to gather their supporters.
Fauzi preferred to use the Somantri Brodjonegoro sports complex in Kuningan, South Jakarta, while Hendardji chose a soccer field in Pulomas, East Jakarta, for their June 30 campaign activities.
Jakarta citizens are scheduled to cast their ballots on July 11. (sat)