All but one of the six Jakarta gubernatorial hopefuls have expressed their commitment to maintaining security and order in the capital as Jakarta braces for the decisive weeks of electioneering.
Starting Sunday, the candidates are allowed by the Jakarta General Election Commission (KPU Jakarta) to display campaign banners and conduct various campaign activities.
The candidates — with the exception of the Hidayat Nur Wahid-Didik Rachbini pair — on Saturday signed an official commitment with the commission to conduct their campaign activities peacefully.
“Fauzi Bowo and Nachrowi Ramli hereby declare our commitment to promote a fair and transparent gubernatorial election. May Allah give blessing to us, and may Jakarta remain safe and continue to move forward,” said the incumbent Fauzi, who is tipped by many pollsters and survey organizations as the candidate to beat.
Surakarta Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, seen as the strongest contender to dethrone Fauzi, has called on his supporters to maintain peace in the capital during the campaign period, scheduled to start officially on Sunday and last to July 7.
“Jakarta reflects Indonesia. An honest and fair election in Jakarta will be used as an example by other provinces,” he said prior to the signing that was held in the Bung Karno Sports Complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
Abdullah, a member of the campaign team for the Hidayat-Didik pair, who attended the signing, said that his candidates had to attend gatherings with several majelis ta’lim (Koran recital groups) in several spots in East Jakarta.
Abdullah dismissed notions that the absence of both Hidayat and Didik during the signing was related to the pair’s alleged rift with the poll body over the “chaotic” voter list, as the campaign team of Hidayat- Didik had reported the KPU Jakarta’s executives to the Jakarta Police on Tuesday, accusing the officials of manipulating the list of voters.
“My presence and that of fellow supporters [of Hidayat-Didik] show our commitment to holding our campaign activities peacefully. Besides, Pak Hidayat has already signed a commitment to peaceful campaigning at the Jakarta Police headquarters, which was similar to this one,” Abdullah told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
KPU Jakarta chairwoman Dahlia Umar hoped that the six candidates would obey campaign rules set by the poll body as well as the Election Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) when they displayed their campaign banners and held their campaign activities.
“While [the KPU Jakarta] gives freedom to the candidates to hold mass meetings and to display campaign material during the campaign period, we hope that the candidates are still able to keep Jakarta clean and in order,” she said.
Panwaslu chairman Ramdansyah warned Jakarta citizens against the widespread practices of money politics, saying that his committee would intensify its slogan of jangan ambil uangnya dan jangan pilih orangnya (do not take money and do not cast votes for the candidate who offers it) prior to polling day on July 11. (sat)