Jakarta Election Still Up for Grabs

18 , 2012 | Source: The Jakarta Globe

Enough Jakarta voters are seemingly yet to make their minds up about Thursday’s election that either candidate could come through victorious, a new survey revealed on Monday, just three days before people go to the polls.

Fauzi Bowo and Joko Widodo shaking hands

A survey carried out last week by the Center for Policy Studies and Strategic Development (Puskaptis), the results of which were released on Monday, showed that challenger Joko Widodo carried a slim lead, but that his vote is still short of the 50 percent needed for victory.

The result, which follows another recent survey predicting a resounding victory for Joko, will give some hope to incumbent governor Fauzi Bowo.

The Puskaptis survey found that 47.6 percent of Jakarta voters were committed to voting for Joko, and 44.9 percent had pledged their support for Fauzi. “There are still 7.5 percent who said they don’t know [who they will vote for] or will vote for neither,” Puskaptis executive director Husin Yazid said on Monday.

The result suggests that the election is still anyone’s game, depending on how the candidates attract undecided voters. The study had a margin of error of 2.8 percent, Husin said. A total of 1,250 people were surveyed from Sept. 10 to 14.

Husin said that Joko’s charisma could pave the way for his victory, adding that voters in Jakarta are drawn to personal traits of candidates rather than political affiliations.

Joko is supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), while Fauzi is supported by four parties, led by the Democratic Party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Fauzi has also secured the backing of two of the four candidates who failed to pass the first stage of the election. But Husin said this would not translate to a significant wave of people voting for the governor because of the lack of actual campaigning by Fauzi’s political backers and patrons. “Starting now, political parties must commit to radical restructuring in getting public support and winning the hearts of Jakarta residents,” Husin said.

Puskaptis predicted that 75 percent of eligible Jakartans would vote on Thursday.

 

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