Joko Widodo has vowed to “build the city anew” after several quick counts showed he received more than 53 percent of votes in the Jakarta governor election on Thursday, defeating incumbent Fauzi Bowo and the coalition of major political parties that backed the ousted leader.
“This victory belongs to all the residents of Jakarta, be they my supporters or those who have supported Pak Fauzi Bowo,” said the man who is Solo mayor, for now at least.
“This victory actually gives me and my team a huge mandate of responsibility that requires hard work because there are many problems to be solved swiftly in the capital city,” Joko told journalists after the result became clear.
Official results are to be announced by the election commission next Friday, but experts say the announcement is a mere formality because of the precision of the quick count exit polls.
Quick count tabulations by MetroTV and IndoBarometer gave Joko and his running mate Basuki Tjahaja Purnama 54.1 percent of the vote, the LSI-TVOne quick count gave the pair a 53.7 percent vote, the LSI-SCTV tabulation recorded it at 53.8 percent, Kompas had it at 53.0 percent, INES put it at 57.4 percent, and MNC Media-Saiful Mujani Research Consulting registered the pair’s vote at 52.6 percent.
“This is a victory for all the residents of Jakarta that are longing for change, so let us all unite to build the city anew,” Joko said.
Fauzi called Joko on his mobile phone immediately after learning of his defeat to congratulate the challenger with whom he had been locking horns for months.
“This is an extraordinary flower of democracy,” Fauzi told Joko after congratulating him. The latter acknowledged him as “my senior” and said he would still consult Fauzi even after being sworn in due to his experience.
In a news conference, Fauzi said Jakarta’s peaceful election was the barometer for Indonesia’s democracy and that he and running mate Nachrowi Ramli would respect the results of the electoral process “because we are full advocates of democracy.”
Despite predictions of unrest, the capital remained peaceful as voters flocked to more than 15,000 polling stations to vote in the five mayoralties and the Thousand Islands district. More than 16,600 police and military personnel were deployed across the capital city to secure the election.
Turnout was estimated at 65 percent of eligible voters on a day that had been declared a public holiday.
Both Fauzi and Joko expressed their appreciation to Jakarta residents, of whom they said had exercised their political rights in a mature and orderly manner, setting a precedent for the rest of Indonesia.
Fauzi called on his supporters to accept the reality of his defeat with open minds and unite with the rest of the population to develop. He said the governor-elect has received “a big mandate from the people” that must be carried out satisfactorily.
“So I hereby call on all the citizens of Jakarta to preserve stability and social harmony among different segments of society. … Let us preserve this victory [of Joko] as a barometer for local elections across the country,” Fauzi said.
In response, Basuki said he wanted Fauzi to act as a senior adviser to himself and the new governor. “We want Pak Fauzi Bowo and all former governors to be our advisors,” he said.
Barely an hour after quick count results were announced, Prabowo Subianto, chairman of Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), which backed the winning pair, cautioned that if Joko or Basuki became ensnared in corruption, “I will be the one to lead a demonstration to bring them down.”
Prabowo added, however, that he believed Joko and Basuki would become “exemplary leaders who will not get involved in such acts.”
Gerindra and the Indonesian Democracy Party of Struggle (PDI-P) were the only two parties to back the winning pair, while Fauzi assembled a formidable coalition of political party allies.
That coalition comprised President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s ruling Democratic Party, Golkar Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Justice Prosperous Party (PKS).
Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum swiftly congratulated Joko and Basuki after learning of Fauzi’s defeat while PKS’s Hidayat Nur Wahid, who had earlier mocked Joko during his time as a rival governor candidate, congratulated Jakarta’s new leaders, saying: “In principle I congratulate the pair that got the most votes. But we must wait for the final result to be announced by the election commission.”
Speaking for PDI-P, Puan Maharani said Joko’s victory was a victory for all Jakartans, including those who voted for Fauzi and Nachrowi. It was important, she said, to not be overwhelmed with the result but to ensure that Joko and Basuki fulfilled their promises to voters.
In the first round of voting, Joko attracted 43 percent of votes and 34 percent went to Fauzi. JG