Jakarta Election: KPU keen on new campaign trends
Paper Edition | Page: 10
The Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU Jakarta) says that the capital has seen a different campaign pattern this year as the candidates tend to focus their time and resources to approach potential voters personally.
“Perhaps this is the most enjoyable political campaign season that Jakarta has ever witnessed,” KPU Jakarta campaign affairs head Suhartono said on Monday.
“Rather than preparing a big mass gathering or convoy like what happened in the last gubernatorial election five years ago, candidates prefer to allocate their time to meeting potential voters face-to-face. This is a good sign
[for Indonesia’s democracy],” he added.
The candidates, Suhartono continued, might have realized that conducting massive gatherings and convoys were not effective ways to boost their popularity, as they only caused traffic jams and caused the public to view them in a negative light.
“This year’s campaign activities have had a smaller impact on Jakarta’s traffic compared to [the campaign activities of] the 2007 Jakarta gubernatorial elections,” he said.
The official campaign period for the upcoming Jakarta gubernatorial election began on June 24 and will run until July 7.
Four out of the six gubernatorial hopefuls already held their respective outdoor campaign rallies, where they gathered all their supporters in one place: The pairs of Fauzi Bowo-Nachrowi Ramli and Hendardji Soepandji-Ahmad Riza campaigned on June 30, while the pairs of Joko Widodo-Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and Hidayat Nur Wahid-Didik Rachbini campaigned on July 1.
The remaining two pairs, Faisal Basri-Biem Benjamin and Alex Noerdin-Sampono, are scheduled to hold their outdoor campaign rallies on July 7.
Suhartono hailed three out of the six gubernatorial candidates for keeping their promise to conduct their major campaigns peacefully.
“So far, no significant incidents have occurred. We hope that all the candidates can maintain this situation until the end of the campaign period,” he said.
The pairs of Jokowi-Ahok, Faisal-Biem and Alex-Nono have decided not to use the Gelora Bung Karno Soccer Stadium even though they previously competed to use the 100,000-seat stadium as the venue for their respective outdoor campaign activities.
The three aforementioned pairs consider the stadium’s rent, Rp 300 million (US$32,100) per day, to be too costly, preferring instead to rent smaller venues for their campaign activities.
Gun Gun Heryanto, executive director of the Political Literacy Institute, said that campaign activities in Jakarta were still lacking substance, with most of the citizens still judging candidates by their popularity rather than their plans and programs to solve the capital’s problems.
“Just like five years ago, most of the candidates in the current Jakarta gubernatorial election still excessively utilize low-level media, such as banners and posters, to increase their electability.
This shows that the Jakarta gubernatorial election is still not different from regional elections in other provinces in Indonesia,” he said on Monday. (sat)
Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.