Several former campaign volunteers of Faisal Basri and Biem Benyamin, the independent gubernatorial candidate, declare their support for the incumbent Fauzi Bowo in Central Jakarta on Friday. The group promised to back Fauzi in winning the Jakarta’s gubernatorial runoff, which is scheduled for Sept. 20. (Tribunnews.com/Danang Setiaji Prabowo)
One week before the runoff in the Jakarta gubernatorial election, several former campaign volunteers for independent candidate Faisal Basri have shifted their support to incumbent governor Fauzi Bowo.
Subhan Hadil, former campaign coordinator for Faisal Basri-Biem Benyamin, the first independent ticket in the city’s history, and several supporters of the pair declared their support for the governor they previously considered as an electoral “Goliath”, on Friday afternoon.
Subhan said that Faisal, who finished fourth in the election’s first round on July 11 after securing around 5 percent or 215,953 votes, allowed his supporters to choose their preferred candidate in the runoff.
“We have decided to support Fauzi,” he said as quoted by tribunnews.com
Subhan denied Fauzi’s team had paid them for their support. “There is no such thing as ‘gifts’. We did not support Faisal-Biem to get benefits. The same applies for Fauzi,” he said.
In a written statement circulated to journalists on Friday, Faisal said that he let his supporters choose their preferred remaining candidate, and highlighted that their support was a personal matter.
Faisal said that his official volunteer and campaign team had been terminated one week after the first round of the election. He said that his former supporters should not have declared any political affiliation under the name of the Faisal-Biem team.
Reinhard Parapat, another former coordinator of Faisal’s campaign team, lamented his colleagues’ actions. “They have no right to use the Faisal-Biem name,” he told The Jakarta Post Digital.
Reinhard added that the declaration betrayed the independent candidate’s political stance. “As a part of the independent movement, we criticize political parties that only prioritize the interests of certain individuals or groups,” he said.
“Until now, we haven’t seen any political parties that have the capability to bring about improvements for Jakarta. So, they don’t deserve our votes,” he added.
Kahfi Siregar of Fauzi’s campaign team said that support from former Faisal volunteers had gladdened him. “We welcome their support. The more than 200,000 votes Faisal received would be a significant gain for us. It also reflects that Fauzi is backed by independent people,” he said.
Kahfi, however, acknowledged that he did not know much about the declaration of support. “I just spread the information. I was not there when the declaration occurred,” he told the Post earlier in the day.
In the runoff election, slated for Thursday, Sept. 20, Fauzi and his running mate Nachrowi Ramli, who are backed by the Democratic Party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the Golkar Party, and many other smaller parties, will compete with Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his running mate Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who are backed by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).
Jokowi was the frontrunner in the first round, securing 42.60 percent of the vote, while Fauzi finished second with 34.05 percent. (yps/lfr)