Second Round Likely for Governor’s Race
Lenny Tristia Tambun
“I’m ready for it,” says Yudha Perwira, a resident of Kalimalang in East Jakarta. “I’m going to vote for Jokowi.”
Yudha is one of millions of Jakartans who will head to the polls today to vote for gubernatorial candidate they hope will finally end the city’s myriad, chronic woes, namely flooding, traffic jams and poor planning.
While the incumbent, Fauzi Bowo, is widely considered the favorite to bag the most votes — though not enough for outright victory in a single round of balloting — Solo Mayor Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, has been touted by analysts as his closest rival and the likeliest of the five other candidates to join Fauzi in a run-off vote.
“The strongest candidates and the ones who make it to the second round of voting will be Fauzi and Jokowi,” Jeirry Sumampouw, from the Indonesian Voters Committee (Tepi), said on Tuesday.
“But Faisal Basri [one of two independent candidates] also has a pretty good chance, so he’s something of a dark horse.”
During the past two weeks, the candidates have held huge rallies throughout the capital, pressed the flesh with the people and churned out television and radio spots. In previous weeks, their posters and banners were already being plastered all across the city.
A range of opinion polls have consistently put Fauzi in the lead, with Jokowi in second and catching up fast.
Fauzi’s key advantage, Jeirry said, is that he’s the candidate most Jakartans are familiar with and also the only one with any experience in the Jakarta bureaucracy.
While most of his campaign promises have focused on continuing programs already underway, Jeirry noted that he faced a very real voter backlash from people disappointed with the dearth of achievements in his first five years in office.
Jokowi, meanwhile, may be running on his impressive track record in Solo, but that success in a smaller city will not necessarily translate to a city of Jakarta’s scale and complexity.
“The situation in Jakarta is so very different from that in Solo. So the breakthroughs Jokowi has made there aren’t guaranteed to work here,” he said.
“What the voters are looking for is not necessarily the smartest candidate or the one with the highest level of education to lead the city. There are lots of people like that in Jakarta. What the voters want is someone who is a skillful manager who can handle the development of the city.”
That darned list
The status of the favorites has not been the only constant in the weeks leading up to polling day. Opposition to the voter list has also been near-universal from early on.
Since shortly after registration in March, every candidate except Fauzi has been pointing out glaring mistakes in the draft voter list, including hundreds of thousands of ineligible or nonexistent “ghost voters.”
While the Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPUD) went on to whittle down the final list by a few thousand to slightly less than 7 million names, three of the candidates went on to file a police report, alleging that the inclusion of the ghost voters amounted to a polling violation.
The KPUD’s refusal to expunge more names earned its chairwoman, Dahliah Umar, a bad ethics rap that analysts warn could be used as the legal basis for the losing candidates to take their case to the Constitutional Court after the results are out.
But others contend that a bigger share of votes will be lost from the golput — registered voters who choose not to vote.
Wahyu, a resident of Kalideres in West Jakarta, is one such person. He says he doesn’t believe any of the candidates has what it takes to fix Jakarta’s problems.
“Besides, they all have vested interests in seeking to run,” he said.
To ensure that his ballot is not illegally marked in favor of any of the candidates, Wahyu says he plans to go to the ballot box and perforate the picture of each candidate, thereby invalidating the ballot.
At least three other people won’t be picking a candidate either, but for a different reason. Jokowi, Golkar Party candidate Alex Noerdin and Didik J. Rachbini, the running mate to Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) candidate Hidayat Nur Wahid, are not Jakarta residents and are thus not registered to vote.