Fauzi Bowo (JP/P.J Leo)
A recent remark made by the current Jakarta Governor and candidate in the upcoming gubernatorial election, Fauzi “Foke” Bowo, during his visit to fire victims was a “blunder” for his election campaign, a political analyst said.
A video from a TV news channel footage circulated virally on YouTube, showing Fauzi visiting fire victims in Karet Tengsin, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday.
During his visit, he asked some evacuees: “Now who will you choose? If [you] choose Jokowi, then you better rebuild your [homes] in Solo [Surakarta].”
Surakarta Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is Fauzi’s rival in the runoff election, scheduled on Sept. 20.
“I personally consider Fauzi’s statement as a blunder. He did not intentionally do it but he should be aware because it might damage his image,” said Burhanuddin Muhtadi from the Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI).
Burhanuddin said such a blunder would only make people think that Fauzi was still unable to accept his loss to out-of-towner Jokowi in the first round of Jakarta election in July. The blunder would also reinforce perceptions that Fauzi’s was a hot-headed person, he added.
“His campaign team should tell Fauzi to be aware of his own image in the future,” Burhanuddin said.
Last week, a controversial sermon was delivered by famous dangdut singer Rhoma Irama. He allegedly made disparaging comments against the religious beliefs of Jokowi’s running mate, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, before congregations at a mosque in West Jakarta. The incumbent Fauzi was also in attendance.
Burhanuddin said that Fauzi should reduce his “controversial activities” if he still wanted to gain the public’s trust.
“I myself cannot predict whether or not such a blunder and this controversial activity will see the incumbent return less votes in the runoff,” he said. (riz)