Jokowi, Ahok make new start
Just sworn in: New Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (front) and his deputy, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, greet supporters after their inauguration at the Jakarta City Council on Monday. JP/P.J. Leo
A backlog of projects is waiting for newly inducted governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and deputy governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama in addition to the pair’s own initiatives.
Only hours after the swearing-in ceremony on Monday, a number of NGOs urged the new administration to address transportation and environmental problems in the city.
The Environmental Caucus for Jakarta demanded Jokowi uphold his campaign promise to cancel plans for the construction of six inner city toll roads and to speed up public transportation improvements.
Meanwhile, the People’s Coalition for Equal Fisheries (KIARA) called for a stop to ongoing coastal reclamation and the giant wall plan to protect fishing villages and marine ecology.
Unlike other regional leaders who prepared a “100-day plan” for the first day in office, Jokowi acknowledged that he had not made any specific plans.
“There isn’t a 100-day plan, but we will work at a quick pace,” the governor told reporters.
Jokowi said he would start visiting slum areas across the capital on Tuesday to meet the residents, learn about their problems and decide what to do for them.
Chants welcomed the pair as they greeted the masses gathered outside the Jakarta City Council building after the ceremony.
Jokowi thanked supporters and asked Jakarta’s citizens to work together with him in handling the city’s problems and making improvements in the capital.
“Now that we are in office, I ask you to keep guard on Pak Basuki and I in implementing our programs,” Jokowi said to the crowd’s cheers.
The crowd later chanted Ahok’s name and asked the deputy to speak to them.
“My number one job is to complete what Pak Jokowi has planned. Please come to us and inform us about your troubles,” Ahok said. He also underlined the importance of improving health services.
Jokowi and Ahok were seen as one of the most equal tickets among their competitors in the gubernatorial election as both had years under their belt at the helm of administrations. Jokowi served seven years as the mayor of Surakarta in Central Java before resigning last month, while Ahok was the regent of East Belitung, on Belitung Island off Sumatra, for two years.
In recent interview, Ahok said he knew his place in the Jakarta administration.
“A deputy governor should not and will not outshine the governor. Pak Jokowi will always be the first man of the administration,” he said. “I will obey whatever the governor tells me to do.”
It remains to be seen whether their equal partnership will last until the end of their term.
Jokowi’s predecessor Fauzi Bowo ended his tenure on a bitter note with his deputy, Prijanto.
Prijanto filed a resignation letter only months before the July 11 election and accused Fauzi of corruption in a number of books he published in the weeks that followed. His resignation was the culmination of years of rumored rifts between them.
Jokowi and Ahok were sworn into office by Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi during a special City Council plenary session.
Outside the council building, the pair’s main political backing, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) — the third-largest faction in the council with 11 out of 94 seats — paid street vendors to provide free bowls of meatballs to people along Jl. Kebon Sirih in Central Jakarta.
PDI-P chief matron Megawati Soekarnoputri attended the ceremony along with party cadres, including West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, Banten Deputy Governor Rano Karno and Supreme Court justice Gayus Lumbuun. The Great Indonesian Movement (Gerindra) Party’s chief patron Prabowo Subianto, whose party also supported Jokowi, however, was not present at the ceremony.
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