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Jakarta Post

New ball game awaits Jakarta

  • Safrin La Batu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 16, 2017   /  08:16 am
New ball game awaits Jakarta In front: Jakarta gubernatorial candidate Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama (left) and his running mate, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, share a moment with supporters after leading the vote based on quick count results at the Rumah Lembang campaign center in Jakarta on Wednesday. (JP/Nurul Fitri Ramadhani)

It is not over yet for Jakarta, as the gubernatorial race enters a second round, with political analysts predicting a different ball game for contenders Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and Anies Baswedan.

Quick counts from Kompas show Ahok and running mate Djarot Saiful Hidayat leading with 42.87 percent of the vote, Anies and running mate Sandiaga Uno trailing in second with 39.76 percent and Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and running mate Sylviana Murni coming in last with 17.37 percent. Other quick counts from various pollsters show similar results, with Ahok leading and Anies in second place.

Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) researcher Arya Fernandes said in the event of Anies and Ahok competing head-to-head, Ahok would likely fight a harder battle because some of Agus’ supporters would perhaps support Anies, as some of the former’s supporters had similar traits with those of Anies’ supporters.

“Demographically, some of Agus’ supporters, such as those in South and East Jakarta have similarities with Anies’ supporters,” Arya said, adding that some of Agus’ Muslim supporters would also likely move to back Anies.

Arya said where the majority of Agus’ supporters went would still depend on the decision of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the chairman of the Democratic Party, the main party backer of Agus. However, he said, it was unlikely the Dems would side with Ahok given their row with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the main party backer of the incumbent.

Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) deputy chairman Sirojudin Abbas commented on the political elites’ movements in the second round of the game, which would be hard to predict. Sirojudin said Agus’ supporters would not automatically go to Anies because the Dems, under Yudhoyono, would be unlikely to be in the same camp as Prabowo Subianto, the chairman of the Gerindra Party, the main backer of Anies.

Sirojudin said two Islam-based political parties in Agus’ camp, namely the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the United Development Party (PPP), which both adopt local Islamic values, would be unlikely to be in the same camp as the Islam-based

Prosperous and Justice Party (PKS), which adopts Islamic activism, supporting Anies.

“I do not see the PKB and PPP sitting together with the PKS,” Sirojudin told the The Jakarta Post.

The SMRC researcher said at the grassroots level, some of Anies’ moderate Muslim supporters would also not feel comfortable receiving support from Agus’ conservative Muslims supporters.

Ahok’s and Anies’ camps, meanwhile, are cautious following their first-round victory, with both saying “the fight is not over.”

Ahok delivered a speech before his supporters, saying that the quick-count results showed “the public can appreciate what we have done for social justice. The fight is not over, but I’m sure we’ll always be solid.”

He said he just wanted to work and would let his political parties and campaign team think about strategies in the next round.

Ahok said the results showed the approval rating of his performance. He also thanked his volunteers and the political parties backing him: the Golkar Party, the NasDem Party and the Hanura Party.

Anies said his camp would wait for the real-count results before celebrating his first-round victory. He said his volunteers would continue to work. “We will monitor the vote counting. There is still a long way to go [before the official results are announced]. Only after that can we start planning our next move,” Anies told reporters at Gerindra headquarters in Ragunan, South Jakarta.

Sandiaga echoed the statement, highlighting that their volunteers and supporters should not celebrate yet and keep praying until the General Elections Commission (KPU) made its final announcement.

Agus conceded defeat on Wednesday evening in a dignified speech. “I magnanimously concede defeat,” he said. Agus said he had personally congratulated Ahok and had tried to reach Anies, but to no avail.

He thanked his supporters for their hard work on the campaign trail.

PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri delivered a speech to thank the “mature and passionate” voters for their confidence in AhokDjarot, while Gerindra patron Prabowo Subianto made a slight jab at rival camp Ahok-Djarot in South Jakarta.

Agus’ major backer, his father Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has made several public appearances concerning his son’s bid, has yet to comment on his son’s presumed defeat.


Moses Ompusunggu, Nurul Fitri Ramadhani, Indra Budiari, and Margareth S.Aritonang contributed to this report.


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