Your call, Jakarta
Paper Edition | Page: 21
In a few days, Jakarta residents will have the voting ball in their court, as those deemed eligible can choose one pair among the hopefuls running for the governor and deputy governor posts.
Voters this year have an array of choices, comprising six candidates running for the top post instead of the two available in 2007.
The candidates for the 2012 elections are, according to their election numbers: 1. Incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo, paired with retired general and fellow Democratic Party member Nachrowi Ramli; 2. Former General Hendardji Supandji and businessman Ahmad Riza Patria; 3. Surakarta Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and legislator Basuki Tjahja Purnama; 4. Legislator Hidayat Nur Wahid and academician Didik Junaidi Rachbini; 5. Economics expert Faisal Basri and businessman-cum-politician Biem Triani Benyamin; and 6. South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin and Gen. (ret) Nono Sampono.
Jakartans have long complained about the city’s notorious traffic congestion, annual floods and rising crime rates. While some eligible voters are already expressing their support for certain candidates, others are less confident that the election, which is set to be held on July 11, will change anything very much.
Nevertheless, the election can mean a colorful time for the city, because campaigns can take on many different forms, ranging from concerts, candidates’ visits to the city’s crowded spots, such as traditional markets, and the mushrooming of catchy slogans.