Jokowi’s ‘charm’ led to strong showing
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Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s charisma is behind his unofficial first-place finish in the first round of voting in Jakarta’s gubernatorial election, analysts have said.
Yunarto Wijaya of Charta Politika said that the initial results of the election on Wednesday showed that Jakartans were looking for a leader who was unlike incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo. “With all of his achievements as Surakarta’s mayor, Jokowi has appeared at just the right time, giving Jakartans hope and an alternative for a change,” Yunarto said.
Unlike Fauzi, who has been viewed as “grumpy”, as reported by a survey released in April by Nasional University and the Madani Institute, Jokowi has a reputation for composure.
“Jokowi is known as being open, composed and close to the people. These political gestures have likely earned him the trust of Jakarta’s voters,” Yunarto said.
Although surveys had tipped Fauzi to win reelection on a first ballot, Yunarto said that Jokowi’s strong showing had not come from out of the blue. The surveys also noted a decline in Fauzi’s popularity attributed to mediocre performance.
Various quick counts conducted by pollsters said that Jokowi secured first place on Wednesday, garnering around 42 percent of the vote followed by Fauzi, with around 33 percent.
While official results await an announcement from the Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU Jakarta) on July 19 or 20,
Meanwhile, R. Siti Zuhro, a political analyst from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said that undecided voters, who accounted for 30 percent of the electorate, likely supported Jokowi. “He [Jokowi] finally could convince them, with all of his approaches to the people,” Siti said.
Jokowi, and his running mate, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, were backed by the rich, the middle class and the poor, she added.
Ethnic and religious sentiments might have boosted support for the ticket as Basuki, the former East Belitung regent, is also a Chinese-Indonesian and a Christian.
According to an exit poll conducted by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI), 100 percent of Chinese-Indonesian and 55.9 percent of ethnic Javanese voters voted for Jokowi, an ethnic Javanese, and Basuki.
Meanwhile, Fauzi, who is of Betawi, or indigenous Jakartan, descent, was backed by 21 percent of ethnic Javanese voters, the LSI said.
More than 70 percent of Christian voters backed Jokowi, compared to 17 percent who backed Fauzi, while 39 percent of Muslim voters backed Jokowi, compared to 35 percent for Fauzi.
Following Jokowi’s strong showing, Surakarta residents said that they would keep supporting their mayor in the Sept. 20 runoff election.
Residents of Surakarta organized mass prayers and feasts before the election and held public screenings of the quick counts in public places.
“We will definitely miss him,” Ahyani, a resident of Surakarta, said.