Jakarta Governor’s Race Has Most Doubting Promises of Change

By webadmin on 05:26 pm Jun 11, 2012
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Lenny Tristia Tambun

Jakarta residents are less than enthusiastic about the approaching gubernatorial election, doubting any of the candidates will be able to solve the capital’s most pressing issues, poll results show.

The Center for
Political Research of the State at the University of Indonesia (Puskapol UI) polled 594 Jakarta residents between May 24 and June 4. The capital’s near-constant congestion and annual flooding topped the list of pressing concerns. But nearly half of those polled had some doubts about whether any of the six gubernatorial candidates can successfully solve Jakarta’s problems.

A reported 42.7 percent said they didn’t know if any of the candidates could fix Jakarta. Eight percent said that none of them were up to the task, said Dirga Ardiansyah, a researcher at Puskapol UI.

On the more optimistic end of the spectrum, 46 percent of those polled said there was at least one candidate who do the job, Dirga said.

“Jakarta residents realize how heavy and complex the problems of the
city are,” said Sri Budi Eko Wardani, director of Puskapol UI. “The residents are passive and have little intention to participate in the election.” 

The campaign season will begin in earnest on June 24, Dirga said, allowing Jakarta’s voters enough time to judge the candidates capabilities.

But gubernatorial hopefuls will have a hard time convincing most voters that their promises are sincere, the poll showed. According to the survey, 61 percent of the respondents did not believe the candidates’ promises or that new programs would make the city a better place to live. Only 26 percent of those surveyed were optimistic about Jakarta’s future under the elected governor.

“Several alternative [candidates] have only cause doubts that they would make conditions better in Jakarta,” Dirga said.

Nearly half of those questioned (49 percent) doubted a new governor would do any better than current Jakarta governor Fauzi Bowo.

Fauzi claimed to have reduced flooding in the capital and addressed the city’s traffic problems during his term. But many of his critics point out that a simple trip outside debunks these claims.

The election is scheduled for July 11.