The Jakarta Post
As politically-conscious netizens debate on Twitter whether it is ethical for Jakarta Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo to run for president before ending his term as governor, a recent political survey has found the majority of Indonesians in and outside of Jakarta approve of his achievements as leader and support his presidential bid.
According to the survey, conducted by Indikator Politik Indonesia from January to February this year ' two months before Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri mandated Jokowi to contest in the upcoming election ' 93 percent of the total 2,500 respondents nationwide said that Jokowi had performed well in Jakarta.
Four hundred of the total respondents were residents of the capital, 86 percent of whom also approved of Jokowi's performance in leading the city during his nearly two years as governor. 'The study shows that Jokowi has a small number of opponents,' Indikator director Burhanuddin Muhtadi told the press on Tuesday.
The study revealed that the Jakarta Health Card (KJS) and Jakarta Smart Card (KJP) programs launched by the Jakarta administration were among Jokowi's most successful achievements in the eyes of the public, in addition to his rejection of the cheap car policy that was launched by the central government.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents nationwide said that they were familiar with the KJS program and that the program was beneficial to citizens; however, only 46 percent knew about the KJP program.
The KJS was launched in November 2012 to provide accessible health services for Jakarta's poor through a universal healthcare system, while the KJP provided financial assistance to enable students from low-income families to access quality education.
Of the range of problems that Jakarta is facing, respondents only criticized Jokowi for traffic congestion, with 49.1 percent of the total 400 Jakartans surveyed expressing disappointment about the congestion and 52.1 percent of them believing that the situation is getting worse.
'However, over all, Jakartans as well as Indonesians from across the archipelago approved of Jokowi's performance,' said Burhanuddin.
The survey also found that 76 percent of respondents nationwide supported Jokowi's presidential nomination, including 40 percent who strongly supported it. Meanwhile, such approval was given by 69 percent of respondents from Jakarta, 33 percent of whom said they strongly supported Jokowi to contest the presidential race.
'The findings reflect that the public does not buy into the argument that Jokowi should not run for president because he has failed as the leader of Jakarta,' Burhannudin said.
Hamdi Muluk, a psychologist from the University of Indonesia (UI), cited Jokowi's proven integrity in leading Jakarta as the major factor that made him more popular than other senior politicians.
'He is seen as the antithesis of the old politicians, who are seen as morally depraved,' Hamdi said during the discussion. 'He is an honest leader. Also, he doesn't have a dark past. All this makes him unbeatable.'
The study showed that, if an election took place today, Jokowi would win 41.5 percent of the vote, followed by Gerindra chief patron Prabowo Subianto, a distant second with 16.3 percent.
Meanwhile, Hanura's Wiranto would gain 9.8 percent and Golkar's Aburizal Bakrie 8.8 percent.