Pundits Agree Jakarta Governor’s Race Likely to Go Two Rounds

By webadmin on 08:26 pm Jul 05, 2012
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Lenny Tristia Tambun

Most analysts seem to agree the July 11 gubernatorial election in Jakarta is shaping up as a two-man race between the incumbent, Fauzi Bowo, and Solo Mayor Joko Widodo.

Fauzi has the money and bureaucratic support, while Jokowi is expected to draw support from the millions of Javanese in the capital. And the latest survey indicates that the election will go to a second round, with Fauzi and Jokowi the last two candidates standing.

A survey by the Institute for Economic and Social Research, Education and Information (LP3ES) released on Tuesday supports the popular view that neither Fauzi nor Jokowi will receive more than 50 percent of the vote, forcing the runoff.

Under election laws, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote to be elected.

The LP3ES survey had Fauzi and Jokowi with more than 20 percent support, with the other four candidates all below 10 percent.

“Foke [Fauzi] leads with 24.5 percent, followed by Jokowi-Ahok with 22.7 percent,” said Suhardi, an LP3ES researcher.

Ahok is Basuki T. Purnama, Jokowi’s running mate.

The survey was conducted by telephone and involved middle-class respondents with at least a high school diploma who worked in the private sector.

Arbi Sanit, a political scientist at the University of Indonesia, said on Wednesday that the election would come down to a race between Fauzi and Jokowi.

While Fauzi is the favorite, he said, there is little chance of a one-round victory because of the number of candidates.

Fachry Ali, an analyst from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said Fauzi was almost guaranteed to make it into the second round because he was receiving political support from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party.

Plus, he added, as the incumbent Fauzi has the money to spend on advertisements and can mobilize city officials for his cause, giving him an edge.

Jokowi, meanwhile, is seen drawing support from Jakarta voters from Java, especially Central Java.

“Like it or not, the ethnic sentiment is still strong. I think Jokowi will be able to advance to the second round because he will get support from Javanese, who are the majority in the capital,” Fachry said.

Once into the second round, Fachry said, Jokowi’s chances of winning the election will improve because he can count on the support of the losing candidates who would see Fauzi as the common enemy.

“Fauzi knows that in the second round he could be seen as the common enemy,” he said.

Arbi agreed that supporters of the losing candidates could transfer their votes to Jokowi.

“It will no longer be based on ideology, but it will be based on political bargaining and money,” he said. “The candidate who can pay the most will get the votes and win.”