Jakarta. As the legislative elections draw near, speculation surrounding poll-topper Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo’s nomination intensifies with the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, saying it will make no decision until after next month’s poll.
Andrinof A. Chaniago, executive director of Cirus Surveyors Group, said Joko’s nomination in the upcoming presidential election may have a great impact in the rate of voter participation.
“If Joko doesn’t get nominated, voters will be shifting their votes and others may opt not to vote. If he isn’t nominated, it is predicted that the number of people who will not be voting may increase by 5 percent from the previous election,” he said during a presentation of his institution’s new survey on Saturday.
According to him, the number of people who are currently likely not to vote, stands at 1.8 percent of the total, but without Joko in the polls, his number may increase up to 6.8 percent.
Andrinof added that many voters remained oblivious of the date of the election.
“About 43 percent of the public did not know that the legislative election will take place on April 9,” he said.
In a separate discussion on Saturday, political analyst Boni Hargens said it was no longer relevant to question whether or not Joko will be nominated but when he will get the formal go-ahead.
According to Boni, PDI-P chairwoman and former president Megawati Soekarnoputri had led the party well through its toughest time, and that with 10 years of being in opposition party, its political tradition has grown stronger and more mature.
“PDI-P’s success in going through tough times is highly linked to Megawati Soekarnoputri’s role as a chairwoman,” he said, adding that Megawati would be looking for the right momentum to announce Joko’s nomination.
Boni was confident the party may fare better in the legislative election should it opt to announce Joko’s nomination before April 9, saying it may earn between 30 percent and 35 percent of the votes.
Without such a declaration, the party may only earn between 20 percent and 23 percent, he said.
“If they declare him before the legislative elections, PDI-P will see great victory, even exceeding their victory in the 1999 elections. So it all depends on PDI-P, whether they want to win big or win small,” Boni said.
Meanwhile, a poll by Political Communication Institute (Polcomm) showed that despite being a popular presidential candidate, Joko has proven less electable as a vice presidential candidate.
“He ranks sixth with only 8.6 percent electability. Respondents claim Joko isn’t fit as a vice president but people see him as a leader who is close to the people,” Polcomm director Heri Budiarto said.
PDI-P politician Tubagus Hasanuddin on Sunday said the latest political developments and the public’s demands are all pointing towards Joko. The Jakarta Globe