The Golkar Party on Sunday threw its support behind incumbent Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo in the Sept. 20 gubernatorial runoff election.
Zainuddin, secretary of the Jakarta chapter of Golkar, said the decision was made on Saturday and would be communicated to members and supporters.
“Golkar thinks the sustainability of development in Jakarta must be made a priority. Therefore, Jakarta must be led by a tested leader and not one who doesn’t yet know what to do,” he said.
Fauzi and his running mate, Nachrowi Ramli, finished a distant second in the first round of the election on July 11, securing 34 percent of the vote. Solo Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his running mate, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, garnered 43 percent of the vote.
The two will face off in next month’s ballot because of the requirement of a runoff if no candidate achieves more than half the vote in the first round.
Fauzi, who was backed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, has also secured the support of the Islam-based United Development Party (PPP).
But even with both parties on board, Fauzi is expected to struggle to overcome to gap against the charismatic Joko.
Golkar and the PPP earlier nominated South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin for the top job in Jakarta, but he came fifth, securing a dismal 4.6 percent of the vote during the first round.
Zainuddin said the real value of Golkar’s endorsement went beyond delivering Alex’s meager share of the vote to Fauzi. “All survey groups say that [Golkar’s] vote reaches 15.6 percent,” he claimed.
The incumbent offered his gratitude to Golkar and said he was willing to overlook previous disagreements. Alex was vocal in criticizing Fauzi’s programs during his campaign.
“If there are statements that attacked me, I call on all sides to forgive and forget for the betterment of Jakarta’s political development,” Fauzi said.