Fauzi’s Mustache Turns Prickly in Jakarta’s Gubernatorial Race

By webadmin on 03:44 pm Jun 19, 2012
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Ronna Nirmala

The Head of Jakarta’s Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu Jakarta) said on Tuesday that they will forbid the use of the campaign slogan “Jakarta Free of Mustache” coined by gubernatorial candidate pair Hendardji Soepandji and Riza Patria.

Jakarta’s current mustached governor Fauzi Bowo (also known as Foke) and his deputy candidate Nachrowi Ramli complained to Panwaslu about Hendardji and Riza’s slogan, saying it unfairly associated Fauzi’s iconic mustache with slums and poverty.  

Ramdansyah, the head of Panwaslu Jakarta, said the slogan could not be used until Fauzi and the challengers came to an understanding. “Because [the problem] between the two candidate pairs has not been solved, it cannot be used during the campaign,” Ramdansyah said.

Fauzi’s famous facial hair might be coming back to bite him — in the 2007 gubernatorial election, Foke used the slogan “Punch on His Mustache,” as a clever means of asking voters to select Fauzi by perforating his mustache on his picture on the ballot card.

For their slogan, the Hendardji team explained that they were using Kumis, the Indonesian word for mustache, as a contraction of Kumuh (Slum) and Miskin (Poverty). In other campaign adds, the pair used the slogan “Jakarta Doesn’t Need Kumis.”

Responding to that advertisement, Fauzi tried to spin his mustache back in his favor, saying “with [this] mustache as a style, let’s eradicate slums and poverty in Jakarta.”

Six pairs of governor-deputy governors candidates will join the official campaign period starting on Sunday. South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin is the only other candidate besides Foke currently sporting a mustache.