Fauzi spends last days in office bidding farewell
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There was an unusual hustle-bustle around the high-official meeting room at City Hall on Monday morning. Official aides kept going in and out of the room, calling each other under their breathes but with expansive gestures, as incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo held a closed meeting with his subordinates.
The aides ran between rooms in the recently repainted Dutch-colonial building on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan, Central Jakarta.
When Fauzi and his subordinates finally came out of the room around noon, they were all smiles. “This is our last high-official meeting, because my term will end on Oct. 7. We discussed basic matters about the administration and the public,” Fauzi told waiting reporters.
Fauzi said he was optimistic that his subordinates could continue their good work under governor-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. “The people who are present here were chosen on merit, not favoritism.”
Fauzi also reiterated his intention to keep working for Jakarta. “I have no [other] hometown; I will keep giving my best for the people of Jakarta,” he said. The governor later posed with his subordinates on City Hall steps.
The seasoned bureaucrat started his career in 1977 and was treasurer of the Golkar Party from 1993 to 1997. Before being named deputy governor in 2002, he held various positions in the administration, including head of the city tourism agency and city secretary.
The Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU Jakarta) declared over the weekend that Jokowi — Mayor of Surakarta, Central Java — had won the Sept. 20 runoff and thus would become the next leader of the capital. The poll organizer announced that Jokowi had won with 53.82 percent of the vote, while Fauzi managed to secure 46.18 percent.
Fauzi had already conceded to Jokowi when pollsters declared that he was well behind in the count hours after polling closed.
Eko Harjadi, the administration spokesperson, said Fauzi had been bidding farewell during each meeting he had attended recently. “He said goodbye in his position as governor. His words have been about [parting the ways],” Eko said.
A civil servant based in City Hall said that the staff was generally divided into two groups: those sad at parting with Fauzi and those anxious about the new governor.
“Some staff who have worked closely with the incumbent are sad. However, many new employees are curious about working under Jokowi,” said the civil servant who declined to be named.
The employee also said that there had been rumors of downsizing, but they were not being taken seriously. “We believe there will be changes, but not extreme changes. They will be positive changes,” the employee told The Jakarta Post.
On the same day Fauzi’s term ends, the City Council plans to swear Jokowi into his new position. The Council secretariat has toned down the planned swearing-in ceremony, cutting the budget to less than Rp 500 million (US$52,000) from the planned Rp 1.05 billion, following protests.
Council secretary Mangara Par-dede said on Monday that the Council had yet to receive confirmation from KPU Jakarta of Jokowi’s victory.
“KPU Jakarta need to wait until Wednesday to make sure that no election lawsuit is filed to the Constitutional Court. Until we receive confirmation, I cannot say for sure that the inauguration will be held on Sunday,” Mangara said.
The Fauzi campaign team said on Saturday it was analyzing evidence collected to determine whether they had the necessary legal basis to challenge the runoff results.
The Jakarta Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu Jakarta) however said that the chance of a lawsuit was very slim because all of the fraud reported to the committee had been examined and settled.
Jokowi had already upset the odds when he won the July 11 election, receiving 1,847,157 votes or 42.6 percent of the 4,336,486 valid votes in the first round, while Fauzi finished second with 1,476,648 votes.