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Jakarta Post

Former mayor Ramdhan Pomanto leads Makassar election

  • Andi Hajramurni

    The Jakarta Post

Makassar   /   Thu, December 10, 2020   /   04:23 pm
Former mayor Ramdhan Pomanto leads Makassar election A worker arranges ballots for the Makassar regional election at the Celebes Convention Center in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Nov. 24. (Antara/Arnas Padda)

Former mayor Mohammad Ramdhan Pomanto is expected to return to the mayorship of Makassar, South Sulawesi, after a preliminary count showed him leading in Wednesday’s election.

A quick count by 10 verified survey institutions found that Ramdhan and his running mate Fatmawati Rusdi had secured 41.3 percent of sampled votes. They were competing against three other candidate pairs -- Munafri Arifuddin and Abdul Rahman Bando who gained 34.7 percent of the sampled vote,  Syamsu Rizal and Fadly Ananda with 19 percent and Irman Yasin Limpo and Andi Zunnun Nurdin Halid with 4.7 percent.

Munafri, who was unseated by blank protest ballots in the 2018 mayoral election in Makassar, acknowledged the results and congratulated the winning pair.

Ramdhan, who served as mayor of Makassar from 2014 to 2019, did not participate in the 2018 mayoral election because he had been disqualified by the Makassar General Elections Commission (KPUD) after the Supreme Court found him guilty of abusing his power to gain an advantage in the race.

Ramdhan’s success this year was enabled by his popularity rate of over 98 percent and public satisfaction with his overall performance, according to the Indonesian Survey Circle's (LSI). The public believed that Ramdhan and Fatmawati were the most capable of realizing their visions and missions, the institute reported.

“Another supporting factor is that [Fatmawati] is also quite popular,” LSI researcher Hanggoro Doso Pemungkas said.

Voter participation in the Makassar election had remained low, the LSI said. It estimated that only about 59 percent of the city’s 901,087 registered voters participated this year, a slight increase from 57 percent in 2018.

Hanggoro had predicted a lower turnout because of COVID-19 concerns. “It turned out there were many militant supporters participating,” he said.

In the Gowa regental election in South Sulawesi, only one pair of candidates ran, namely the incumbent Adnan Purichta Ichsan Yasin Limpo and his running mate Abdul Rauf Malaganni. They made strides in the race, securing about 91 percent of the sampled votes. (syk)