Parties undecided on Fauzi or Jokowi
Paper Edition | Page: 9
None of the political parties that failed to secure spots in the runoff for Jakarta’s gubernatorial election have indicated whether they will support incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo or Surakarta Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo come Sept. 20.
The United Development Party (PPP), which was scheduled to name which candidates it would support in the runoff on Sunday afternoon, canceled its announcement at the last minute.
PPP secretary-general M. Romahurmuziy attributed the cancelation to a lack of consensus.
“Internally, we are still divided into two groups. The one that still bases its decisions on cultural issues tends to support Fauzi. The other, which bases its decision on tactical considerations, tends to support Jokowi,” Romahurmuziy said.
Romahurmuziy added that it would be easier for the PPP to back Jokowi if politics were the only concern, as he had fallen only 8 percent short of the minimum 50 percent of the vote needed to win in the first round of voting on July 11, well ahead of Fauzi.
“However, we want this to be a solid decision – real support that can also be useful for the 2014 legislative election,” Romahurmuziy said.
Meanwhile, officials from the Golkar Party and the Muslim-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) were also ambivalent as to who would receive their support in the runoff.
The PPP and Golkar supported Alex Noerdin on the first ballot, while the PKS supported Hidayat Nur Wahid.
According to the Jakarta General Elections Commission’s (KPU Jakarta) final tally, Jokowi received 1,847,157 votes on July 11, followed by Fauzi with 1,476,648.
Unlike regional elections in other provinces that have a lower victory threshold, no candidate in Jakarta governor’s race received a majority of the vote, requiring a runoff.
Only 4.4 million of the more than 6.9 million people on the registered voter list came out to the 15,059 polling stations across the city’s five municipalities and Thousand Islands regency on election day.
Burhanuddin Muhtadi from the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) said that the unsuccessful parties were likely to make their endorsements, if any, within the next two weeks.
Three factors would drive the endorsements, Burhanuddin said: who was likely to win in September, who had the political momentum and whether parties would consider the ethnicity of the candidates.
Jokowi would likely benefit from parties looking to ride on the coattails of the front runner, while Fauzi would likely benefit if parties considered ethnicity, Burhanuddin said.
Jokowi is Javanese, while Fauzi is a Betawi, or an ethnic Jakartan, who tend to support Betawi candidates.
However, Burhanuddin said that party supporters were unlikely to accept the endorsements without question.
“It could be seen in the first round, that even in PKS, not all PKS supporters voted for Hidayat. The gubernatorial election does not only rely solely on the political machine,” Burhanuddin said.
Although Sept. 20 is still months away, the run up to the runoff is well under way. Candidates are likely to be fixtures at Ramadhan-related activities, from sahur (pre-dawn meals) to iftar (fast-breaking meals) to tarawih (mass prayers).
Meanwhile, those who complained that they could not vote since they were not listed in the voter roll on July 11 should take heart. The KPU Jakarta said that all eligible but unregistered residents will be able to exercise the franchise in the runoff.
Earlier, the campaigns also reported the presence of thousands of ineligible voters, referred to as “ghost voters”, in the list of 6,983,692 voters that had been announced in early June.