The Jakarta Post
Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil and his Surabaya counterpart Tri 'Risma' Rismaharini might be the biggest competitors of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama for the next Jakarta gubernatorial election, according to a survey.
The survey conducted by the Cyrus Network on 1,000 Jakarta residents on April 23-27, 2015, found that Ahok's popularity was 96.6 percent, followed closely by Risma who had 74 percent and Ridwan who garnered 73 percent.
Local figures were surpassed by the two, such as Abraham 'Lulung' Lunggana who grabbed only 64.5 percent.
The gap was even smaller when the survey put Ahok, Ridwan and Risma in one-on-one polling. Ahok and Ridwan were as close as 42 percent and 38 percent, while Ahok and Risma stood at 42 percent and 37 percent.
'These people come from outside Jakarta, without any particular effort to campaign in Jakarta, yet they have significant electability. Ahok needs to prove himself if he wants to be reelected,' Cyrus Network executive director Hasan Nasbi said on Thursday.
Risma, who is the first woman mayor of Surabaya, East Java, has been favored for her perceived success in transforming several slums in Surabaya into green spaces and her efforts to shut down the city's Dolly red-light district.
Meanwhile, Ridwan, as mayor of Bandung, West Java, gained popularity with his strong social media presence and efforts to improve Bandung's infrastructure. His latest achievement was holding the 65th anniversary of the Asia-Africa Conference in April.
While neither of the mayors have expressed their interest in contesting the Jakarta gubernatorial election in 2017, the pollster saw some deliberate efforts from Ridwan's side.
'We see a very serious effort to use the recent Asia-Africa Conference Commemoration as a momentum to massively boost his strong image as Bandung mayor nationally. [...] We guess that Bandung is an entry point to a bigger stage, bigger city, Jakarta,' said Hasan.
Ahok himself was previously a regent in East Belitung, Bangka Belitung province, before he ran for the post of Jakarta deputy governor in 2012, along with former governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo who was previously mayor of Surakarta in Central Java.(++++)
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