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Jakarta Post

Underperforming leaders '€™punished'€™ in local elections

  • Syofiardi Bachyul Jb and Ruslan Sangadji

    The Jakarta Post

Padang/Palu   /   Tue, December 15, 2015   /  03:14 pm

Despite their relatively high popularity, a number of incumbents and former regional leaders have failed to garner enough votes to secure their reelection bids in the recent simultaneous regional head elections (Pilkada). Analysts have suggested that such a failure should be largely attributed to the figures'€™ mediocre performance during their previous leadership term.

In West Sumatra, seven incumbents and former regents or mayors ran for reelection during the Pilkada, held on Dec. 9 in 264 regions across the archipelago. Four of them, however, are on the verge of losing the race, as the real vote count organized by the General Elections Commission (KPU) suggested that they failed to clinch the most votes.

In the Bukittinggi mayoral election, in which five candidate pairs are participating, former mayor Ismet Amzis had to settle with second place after garnering 27.55 percent of the vote. Ismet has been outshined by M. Ramlan Nurmatias and running mate Irwandi, who garnered 41.8 percent of the vote to lead the race.

In Dharmasraya, former regent Adi Gunawan was beaten by 26-year-old Sutan Riska Tuanku Kerajaan. Sutan, a member of the Koto Besar royal family and running mate Amrizal are so far leading the head-to-head race after garnering 63.75 percent of the vote.

Political observer Edi Indrizal from the Padang-based Andalas University (Unand) said the successful campaigns of alternative candidates in the recent elections showed that West Sumatra residents were eager to promote change.

'€œThe results show that voters in the province are dynamic and eager to give alternative candidates a chance to lead them. This means, incumbents or former leaders with mediocre achievements can be easily ousted from the race,'€ he told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Another Unand political analyst, Asrinaldi, meanwhile, attributed the phenomenon to the increasing number of voters who had cast their vote based on logical considerations instead of emotional ones.

'€œThese voters are aware of the performance of the incumbent. If they'€™re not happy with them, then they will put their hopes in a new candidate,'€ he said.

Meanwhile in Cianjur, West Java, the quick count organized by Jakarta-based pollster Cyrus Network showed that incumbent regent Suranto came second in the race with 45.5 percent of the vote behind candidate Irvan Rivano Muchtar, who clinched 49.3 percent.

In Central Sulawesi, incumbent governor Longki Djanggola and deputy governor Sudarto are poised to win the Pilkada after the real vote count showed the pair reaped 696,508, or 54.31 percent of the vote. They outshined Rusdi Mastura and Ihwan Datu Adam, who only obtained 585,890, or 45.69 percent of the vote.

Central Sulawesi General Elections Commission (KPUD) chief Sahran Raden said data inputted on the KPU website was not final and could not serve as a basis for the victory of the gubernatorial candidates.

'€œThe data remains temporary in manner. The final results will be announced on Dec. 19th,'€ said Sahran.

In South Sulawesi, the Gowa KPUD held revotes at two polling stations in Bontolempangan district, Gowa regency, on Monday. Voter turnout was less than 55 percent compared to earlier.

Gowa KPUD member Mukhtar Muis said the revote was held based on the decision from the Gowa Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu), as during the Pilkada on Dec. 9, witnesses from four candidate pairs distributed as many as 284 unused or extra ballots.

In Papua, the Yalimo KPUD has scheduled revotes in 51 villages in Apalahapsili district, Yalimo regency, on Dec. 16 with 10,884 eligible voters.

The revotes were based on a recommendation issued by the Yalimo Panwaslu, in regard to the riot during the Pilkada on Dec. 9 when a group of supporters of one of the candidates seized election materials. The ballots were then punched in favor of a candidate pair.

Papua Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) member Anugerah Pata said the agency had demanded the perpetrators be brought to justice as their action could be categorized as an election violation.

'€œPolice have so far arrested 16 people in the case and they will be charged under articles in the 2015 Pilkada Law,'€ Anugerah said.

Andi Hajramurni in Makassar, Nethy Dharma Somba in Jayapura and Jon Afrizal in Jambi contributed to the article.

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