Headlines

Experts predict Jokowi
to face challenges from
Council, citizens

Joko Widodo: (Kompas/Roderick)
Joko "Jokowi" Widodo: (Kompas/Roderick)

After basking in the media following Fauzi Bowo’s concession in the Jakarta gubernatorial runoff election, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo needs to snap back to reality, political experts say.

With Jakartans impatient for real results and the Jakarta City Council having backed his rival, some say Jokowi will have no time to relax after his inauguration.

Burhanuddin Muhtadi, a political analyst from the Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI), said that Jakartans mostly voted for Jokowi because they were disappointed with his predecessor.

“The euphoria of his victory will not last long. Jokowi will only have two to three months before Jakartans unleash their harshest criticism and cynicism if he fails to show real improvement,” Burhanuddin said in a discussion in Central Jakarta on Sunday.

With the majority of the capital’s population being well-educated and of the relatively well-to-do middle class, Jakartans were fastidious, he said.

“It doesn’t help Jokowi that Jakartans often have unrealistic demands. The traffic jam issue, for example, is a really complex problem to take on, but Jakartans have high hopes for Jokowi to solve it,” Burhanuddin said.

Around 4.5 million out of the total 6.9 million registered voters cast their votes last Thursday. According to the quick counts compiled by several pollsters, Jokowi won between 53 and 57 percent of the vote, while Fauzi garnered between 42 and 46 percent of the vote in last week’s runoff.

Fauzi congratulated Jokowi after learning of the high possibility of defeat.

Jokowi finished first in July, receiving 1.85 million, or 42.6 percent of the 4.3 million votes cast, while Fauzi came in second with 1,48 million votes. As neither candidate secured a majority, Joko and Fauzi advanced to the runoff.

Political analyst Salim Said warned Jokowi would have a hard time as the majority of the parties in the Jakarta City Council did not support him.

“It will be a serious problem for Jokowi if he does not receive support from the Council. He could be running a lame duck administration,” Salim said.

During the runoff, Jokowi retained the support of his first-round backers, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) — the third largest party in the Council with 11 out of the 94 total seats, and the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party, which has six seats.

His rival Fauzi was supported by the largest party in the Council, the Democratic Party with 32 seats; the second-largest party, the Islamic-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) with 18 seats; the United Development Party (PPP) and Golkar, each with seven seats; and the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), with four seats apiece.

“President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been having the same problem with the lack of legislative support and has been forced to compromise,” Salim said.

Separately on Sunday afternoon, Jokowi’s running mate, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, paid a visit to former vice president Jusuf Kalla, who served Yudhoyono between 2004 and 2009.

“I wanted to get advice and lessons from him. He is a senior politician and has a lot of experience in running an administration. He assures me that Pak Jokowi and I can succeed through hard work,” Ahok told reporters outside Kalla’s residence in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta.

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