Jokowi Warns of Poll Fraud at Huge Jakarta Campaign Rally

By webadmin on 08:46 pm Jul 03, 2012
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Ronna Nirmala

Solo Mayor Joko Widodo drew a crowd of tens of thousands at a campaign rally on Sunday at which he warned of the potential for poll fraud during next week’s Jakarta gubernatorial election.

“Jakarta needs a change for the better,” Joko, popularly known as Jokowi, told the crowd at the Senayan sports complex in South Jakarta.

“We need a city that’s for the little people, for the underprivileged,” he said. “I’m also asking you to keep a close eye on the polling stations, because there are indications that some people are intent on cheating. The polls have to be clean and fair and if they really are, then I’m certain that we’ll win.”

The event kicked off with Jokowi and his running mate, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, taking a bicycle ride with supporters.

Also speaking at the campaign rally, the candidate’s last major gathering before the election on July 11, was Prabowo Subianto, the founder of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), which is backing Jokowi.

Prabowo, who is seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2014, warned that the contentious issue of the flawed voter list would come into play on polling day.

“Our campaign volunteers on the ground have reported that there are still 400,000 ‘ghost voters’ that the polling commission refuses to strike from the voter list,” he said.

He added that the large number of ineligible voters could be counted as votes for the favored candidates of “those controlling the city’s information technology and the election process.”

“What’s really at stake on July 11 is not just the future of Jakarta, but the future of our people,” Prabowo said. “That’s why it’s important that you vote for Jokowi for a new Jakarta, a new Indonesia.”

He also highlighted the candidate’s antigraft credentials and achievements in governing Solo. “Don’t choose a candidate who likes to [be] corrupt, who likes to lie,” Prabowo said. “Choose the one with the right track record.”

Jokowi also took a swipe at the current governor, Fauzi Bowo, calling into question his leadership and his administration’s use of funds.

“Jakarta’s budget for the past five years was Rp 140 trillion [$15 billion], but what’s been achieved in that time?” he said.

“The people must know that the East Flood Canal was administered by the Public Works Ministry,” he added, referring to the flood mitigation system being touted as one of Fauzi’s achievements in his re-election campaign. “As for the busway, that came from the previous five-year period. So what happened with the Rp 140 trillion from the current period?”

Also holding a campaign rally on Sunday was Hidayat Nur Wahid, the candidate from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), who drew a crowd of tens of thousands to the Soemantri Brodjonegoro sports center in Kuningan South Jakarta .