We are witnessing surprising good news from Jakarta’s gubernatorial election. Confounding numerous pre-election polls, quick counts have shown that Surakarta Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo finished ahead of incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo at the polls on Wednesday.
With neither of Jokowi nor Fauzi winning more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff scheduled for Sept. 20 will decide the winner.
The race between Jokowi and Fauzi may also be viewed as a contest between major political parties. Jokowi is supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the third-largest faction at the City Council, with 11 of 94 seats, and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), with six seats. Fauzi was nominated by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, the largest faction at the Council with 32 seats, and several smaller parties.
Despite low ...