Incumbent Bibit Waluyo and his running mate Sudijono Sastroatmodjo,
former rector of Semarang State University, are expected to easily win
the upcoming Central Java election, in the absence of Rustriningsih of
the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), who was widely seen
as the strongest oppotition.
Rustriningsih is currently Central Java deputy governor, but she has been dumped out of the gubernatorial race by her own party.
She believes that Bibit Waluyo and running mate Sudijono Sastroatmodjo will easily beat the other pairs. “With only three candidate pairs, Bibit will easily win,” she said.
The three pairs are contesting the Central Java gubernatorial election on May 26.
Bibit and Sudijono are nominated by a coalition of the Democratic Party, the Golkar Party and the National Mandate Party (PAN); Ganjar Pranowo and Heru Sudjatmoko, nominated by the PDI-P; Hadi Prabowo and Don Murdono, nominated by a coalition of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB), the United Development Party (PPP), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the National Ulema Awakening Party (PKNU), and the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura).
Political observer Triyono Lukmantoro of Semarang Diponegoro University shares the same thought as Rustriningsih, saying that both Ganjar–Heru and Hadi–Don would have difficulty in winning the most votes.
Ganjar–Heru are less well-known by the people of Central Java. “He [Ganjar] is from the House of Representatives. I doubt he even knows Central Java. Ganjar–Heru is unknown. They are different from Bibit Waluyo, the
incumbent,” he said.
Hadi–Don will have problems winning the most votes despite being nominated by many parties.
“The support, I think, is based more on the candidates’ financial capability,” Triyono said.
Triyono believed that the election will only go to one round with Bibit–Sudijono winning over 30 percent of votes.
Rustriningsih is disappointed by her elimination.
She has openly stated that neither PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri nor any officials from the central executive board of the party contacted her about it.
A party loyalist for 27 years, she has stayed loyal as a government official for 13 years.
“This night have found evidence of how hard it is to tightly hold on the principle of loyalty in the face of struggle,” she said.
“Actually I could have registered as an independent candidate. It would have been easy for me to collect one million of signatures [to support the candidacy], but I did not do it.
“It’s because I am still loyal to the party,” Rustriningsih said.
She served as Kebumen regent for the 2000-2005 and 2005-2010 terms of office before she was elected as Central Java deputy governor in 2008 with Bibit Waluyo as governor.
She was the only female candidate in the gubernatorial race then.
The pair won a landslide victory of over 6 million votes or almost 44 percent of the total ballot, followed by Bambang Sadono–Muhammad Adnan who were nominated by the Golkar Party with 22.79 percent of votes, Sukawi Sutarip–Sudharto (PD and PKS) with 15.58 percent, Muhammad Tamzil–Rozaq Rais (PPP and PAN) with 11.36 percent and Agus Soeyitno–Kholiq Arif (PKB) with 6.83 percent.