Hoping For Peaceful, Democratic Gubernatorial Election In Jakarta

The next gubernatorial election in Jakarta is expected to be both exciting and interesting, since important political figures are sponsoring each candidate pair.

To be held simultaneously with other regional head elections (pilkada) across the country on February 15, 2017, the Jakarta gubernatorial election will be contested by three pairs, namely incumbent Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) and Djarot Saiful Hidayat, former education minister Anies Baswedan and successful businessman Sandiaga Uno, as well as rising military star Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and former mayor Sylviana Murni.

Ahok and Djarot are supported by former president Megawati Sukarnoputri, who is concurrently chairperson of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDIP). Baswedan-Uno has been nominated by ex-presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, who is also chairman of Gerindra Party, and Agus-Sylviana is promoted by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is chairman of the Democratic Party and the father of Agus.

The three pairs are considered competent, with every candidate having their own characteristics, qualities, and shortcomings. Further, most of them are relatively young, and they represent different races, tribes and religions.

Of note, their staunch supporters have already begun their campaigns using social media, such as Facebook.

Given the enthusiasm of the public, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has expressed his hope that the Jakarta pilkada, as well as other elections to be simultaneously organized across many regions, will be conducted peacefully and democratically.

The government has pledged to remain neutral, including in the Jakarta pilkada, said Jokowi, who had paired with Ahok, with the support of PDIP, during the Jakarta gubernatorial election in 2012.

“The President has said that everything has to run democratically, in choosing a leader who is capable of building Jakarta, because Jakarta needs a strong leader who has a large commitment to making major contributions for Indonesia to become a great country,” Minister/State Secretary Pratikno told the press in Jakarta on Sept. 28.

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesman Johan Budi also said that the President will remain neutral and wishes to see a just, honest and democratic Jakarta pilkada.

In addition, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto has urged the candidates for governor and deputy governor, as well as their supporters, to avoid violence during the 2017 pilkada.

“This is a democratic process, meaning that whether the process is good or bad, it will reflect on us as a nation that understands democracy,” Wiranto said.

Pilkada will be organized simultaneously in 101 regions, comprising seven provinces, 18 cities and 76 districts, and be held in early February next year.

The campaign period for the 2017 pilkada will be from October 28 2016 to February 11, 2017.

Political campaigns, including those on social media, must not touch issues on tribes, religion, race, and inter-groups (SARA), he stated, adding, in fact, that campaigns must focus on unity and avoid disunity.

“There must be no provocation, no questioning of the national principle, no defamation, and no black campaigns, and those also apply to social media,” Wiranto said.

Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has asked the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) to take firm action against those provoking the pilkada process and those involved in money politics.

He also said the campaigns must not touch upon issues of race, tribe, and religions.

Furthermore, National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian has asked the new chief of the Jakarta Metro Jaya Police, Inspector General Mochamad Iriawan, to ensure that the Jakarta pilkada passes off peacefully.

“This (election) is quite a hot topic, and our hope from the police force is that it will do well. Hopefully, you (Iriawan) would be able to handle Jakarta,” the general said after installing the Jakarta police chief on Sept. 23.

Iriawan, popularly called Iwan, pointed out that securing the Jakarta pilkada will be his heaviest task.

How the pilkada passes off will become a benchmark to judge whether the Jakarta police chief was successful or not.

Therefore, he promised, he will deploy all personnel in the most optimum fashion possible to secure the pilkada, to be held on February 15, 2017.

“We will go all out to stand guard for the successful conduct of pilkada in Jakarta,” he added.

First, he will study and map out the security situation in Jakarta. “I will ask for intelligence analyses, then (ask) operation bureau heads and police resort heads to make presentations (on the Jakarta situation),” he remarked.

He hoped that the process of pilkada from September 2016 until October 2017 could run safely and without conflict.

The Jakarta pilkada implementation will become a barometer for pilkada in other regions, therefore it should be carried out orderly and safely, he remarked.

Iriawan, former head of the Professional and Security Division, succeeded Inspector General Moechgiyarto, who was promoted as head of the Police Education Institute (Kalemdikpol).

In the meantime, Deputy National Police Chief Commissioner General Syafruddin has advocated pursuing the tradition of decent politics in the run up to the regional head elections.

“My appeal certainly is that we should maintain unity, leaving behind the politics of hegemony and promote decent politics,” Syafruddin counseled in Makassar, South Sulawesi, recently.

Source: Antara News