The Challenge of Anies Baswedan : Unite and Prosper Jakarta
Riding a wave of growing religious conservatism, former culture and education minister Anies Baswedan won the Jakarta gubernatorial election beating incumbent Basuki Thahaja “Ahok” Purnama, a political candidate dogged by allegations of blasphemy while seeking reelection.
Anies’ strategy of crafting messages directed at Muslim groups has apparently paid off, with nearly all of Agus’ supporters switching over to his side. In the first round, Agus devoted more resources to woo conservative Muslim voters, while Anies made attempts to appeal to the urban, young middle-income segment. Muslims make up around 78 percent of the more than 7.2 million registered voters in the city.
Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) political analyst Arya Fernandes said Anies and Sandiaga owed their success in the runoff election to Muslim voters who decided to throw their support behind the pair, mobilized by Muslim groups, including the hard-line Islam Defenders Front (FPI). Part of the blame for Ahok’s defeat in the poll was the overconfidence of the parties in his coalition with their political machinery.
Prabowo also called on his rivals to stop branding conservative clerics such as FPI leader Rizieq Shihab and Muslim People’s Forum (FUI) leader Bachtiar Nasir as radicals who wanted to commit treason. Leader of Anies’ campaign team, Mardani Ali Sera, also praised Rizieq as an “important pillar” in Anies victory against Ahok. Anies, however, said in his victory speech that he promised to begin reconciliation following a divisive and bitterly contested election.
According to a number of research outfits projected that Anies and his running mate, millionaire Sandiaga Uno, would win the gubernatorial election by a wide margin. Jakarta-based pollster Sjaiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SRMC) showed Anies securing 58.06 percent of the vote against Ahok’s 41.94 percent. After learning he was trailing by a double-digit margin, Ahok conceded defeat and pledged that he would pave the way for a smooth transition at City Hall. The Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU Jakarta) is expected to announce the final results of the election in early May.
Results of quick counts conducted by a number of pollsters showed that Anies and his running mate Sandiaga Uno, nominated by the Gerindra Party and the Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), had a comfortable lead over their rival Ahok and running mate Djarot Sjaiful Hidayat, backed by a coalition of major political parties including the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party, the NasDem Party and the United Development Party (PPP).
At least eight pollsters projected Anies had a double-digit lead over Ahok. Jakarta-based Pollster Sjaiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SRMC) showed that Anies got 58.06 percent of the vote, against Ahok’s 41.94. Pollster Indo Barometer tallied similar results, showing that Ahok was trailing Anies by 17 percent. Meanwhile, Charta Politika, another Jakarta-based pollster known to be close to Ahok’s camp, also projected a win for Anies, who garnered 57.87 percent of the vote, while Ahok only secured 42.13 percent.
Despite public opinion surveys projecting Anies and Ahok in a statistical dead heat, the quick-count results showed that Ahok failed to expand his base. Ahok received 42.99 percent of the vote in the first round. Anies, on the other hand, was able to bring in more votes, especially from supporters of Agus Yudhoyono Harimurti, who finished third in the first round with 17.02 percent of the vote. Anies and his running mate Sandiaga came in second in the first round with 39.95 percent of the vote.
Anies Baswedan the presumptive winner of the Jakarta gubernatorial election, made a conciliatory gesture on Thursday by holding a meeting with defeated candidate and incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama at City Hall, following a bitterly contested election that divided the city along religious and racial lines.
One of issues highlighted during the meeting between Anies and Ahok was the 2018 city budget. It’s would be crucial in his effort to realize some of his campaign promises. “If we don’t discuss it now, I am afraid the programs we campaigned on to implement in 2018 will be put off until 2019 because the 2018 city budget has already been approved,” Anies said.
Meanwhile, Ahok insisted that discussions on the 2018 city budget needed to wrap up soon, without waiting for Anies to take the reins of power in October. He suggested that Anies send members of his team to discuss some of the new details of the budget with officials in the current administration. With regards to Anies’ invitation to begin work on reconciliation, Ahok maintained that his supporters would accept the final election result. “I guarantee that my supporters will not stir up any problems,” he added.
There has been no official statement from the State Palace regarding Anies’ victory. Some analysts say Anies’ victory in Jakarta deals a serious political blow to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who backed Ahok to be governor for the next five years as part of his strategy to push through some of his key infrastructure projects.
However, the successful of infrastructure projects especially in Jakarta and generally in Indonesia as a key point to prosper Jakartans and also all of Indonesian. Because of that, Jokowi’s administration has all out to implement Nawacita programme and Anies-Sandi as a part of government must be supported Nawacita programme has been implemented in their tenure. Before Jakarta’s governor elections, some of pundits had been worried that Anie’s win would be disturbed Nawacita programme implementation. As a professional on his profession, Anies and Sandi didn’t want to break Nawacita programme because they’re fully understand if Nawacita programme is a good programme for Indonesian people including Jakartans.
Last but not least, other challenges of Anies and Sandi is how they can unite all of level Jakarta’s people after the serial of Jakarta’s governor election had been done. Because, as we know together based on news comes from mainstream media or social media, the effect of Jakarta’s governor elections had been broken social relationship among each Jakarta’s people especially between Ahok’s supporters and Anies’s supporters. Insults, negative and black campaign and other low politics manuevers had been done during Jakarta’s governor election campaign period, which had disturbed social commucation and it’s has been made through social segregration in Jakarta. With God’s almaighty, we could be done Jakarta’s governor election with peacefully and success.
So Anies-Sandi must be strengthened social relationship among each Jakarta’s people, and they must be as a governor for Jakarta’s people and not only for their sympathizer and supporters. Whoever had been supported Anies-Sandi in former elections must be accepted that Anies-Sandi are common their leader so they can’t pressure Anies-Sandi just only to fulfill their demand. Hopefully.
*) Erlangga Pratama, has earned his master from the University of Indonesia (UI). Now, he is a one of Cersia’s founder.