Approaching the Ballot of the Second Round of the Regional Election of Jakarta

By: Lieutenant General (Ret) Soedibyo 

Following  to the official release of the result of the first round of the Regional Election of Jakarta  on February 27, 2017, it has been  definitely clear that the Regional Election of Jakarta should  be implemented in two round with the rivalry between the pair of Ahok-Djarot against Anies-Sandiaga in the second round.

Based on the record  of the ballot in the first round of The Regional Election of Jakarta on February 15, 2017  both pairs of Ahok-Djarot and Anies-Sandiaga are considered as the eligible Candidates who have to compete in  the further ballot to be decided who is the winner.   Assuming that the main groupings of Political Parties in first round do not change,  the struggle of Ahok-Djarot and Annies-Sandiaga in the second round   will be  to  get the additional votes of the Democratic Party, PAN, PKB, PPP  and around  937.955 votes or around 17,5 % of votes derived from the former voters of AHY – Sylvi in the first round. The former supporters of AHY-Sylvi now are described  as the independent voters that both Ahok-Djarot  and Anies-Sandiaga  would compete to attract them respectively.

Accordingly in general  the People of Jakarta are considering that the second round of the Regional Election of Jakarta to be just going to continue the ballot to decide who will be the Winner of the second round of the Regional Election which would be considered as the eligible Candidate to become The Governor and the Vice Governor of Jakarta for the period of 2017-2022. In this framework the choice decision of The Democratic Party, PAN, PKB, PPP and the former voters of AHY-Slvy are likely the key of the winner.

The basic idea of the People of Jakarta is theoretically correct though it is not  definitely a simple political process  because the technical Political Competition in the ballot  of the second round of the  Regional Election of Jakarta that  will be held on April 19, 2017, to be apparently  “the political fighting”  of two big groups of the Governor candidates and their respective Vice Governor candidates   in their respective effort to gain  “50 % plus 1” derived from the followers of all Political Parties and the independent  voters derived from the former AHY-Silvy voters.

This situation is unlikely realized by the people that in fact  politically the Citizens of Jakarta of around 6 million  will be divided into two big  political groups, the sympathizers of Ahok-Djarot camp and the sympathizers of Anies-Sandiaga camp. We should  be seriously aware and preventing  that this practical  election grouping  would not embark to  political, ideological  and  religiously motivated confrontation  endangering the national unity.

Both of the practical election groups have to always remember that they belong to the Pancasila ideologist of the Indonesian unity.  This awareness  is likely seriously  important because  we should be aware that the big part of the sympathizers  of Annies-Sandiaga  are those who consider that Ahok  is a political leader who had insulted the Islamic religion. And on another side people tend to describe Annies-Sandiaga  camp are the  fanatic nationalist, the religious group and the opposition group of President Jokowi Cabinet.

Likely from the national security point of view the National Security Apparatus should be aware the case of the  widespread  religious campaign commanding the Islamic society do not care to the demise of other Islamic individuals of the sympathizers  of Ahok is likely the activity of the so called  the  “subversive action” to destabilize the Indonesian nation. No one of the member of the Indonesian  society to think on that evil idea that was definitely inspired by the devil  character.

Accordingly the Regional Election Commission of Jakarta   representing  the Government of the Republic of Indonesia has to  wisely finish  the second round of Regional Election of Jakarta perfectly. It should not leave the seed of the social confrontation among the Citizens of Jakarta. It was  likely  a good reference that before the ballot Ahok-Djarot camp and Annies-Sandiaga camp  to resemble  and calling together the national oath that they will eternally save the national unity of Indonesia based on Pancasila ideology and the Regional Election   is just a technical method  to manage our country democratically.

The second round of Regional Election of Jakarta  is likely vulnerable for the political tension because of the special character of  the political  conditions the pair of Anies Baswedan – Sandiaga Uno was  established by the Gerindra Party as the nationalist camp and the Social Justice Party (PKS) as firm religious political party, as the third pair of the Governor and Vice Governor Candidate in the first round of the Regional  Election of Jakarta. This two  political parties supporters are silent  and smooth  but firm  and  strong political opposition party to President Jokowi Cabinet.

In the second round of the Regional Election of Jakarta Anies-Sandiaga has  to defeat the pair of Ahok-Djarot the present strong Governor and Vice Governor of Jakarta who is supported by PDI-P, NASDEM, Hanura, Golkar Party,  and PKPI (The Indonesian Unity and Justice Party) small political party under the leadership of Hendropriyono , all of this Political Parties are  supporting President Jokowi Cabinet . PAN is the only political party supporting President Jokowi Cabinert, but it does not support Ahok. PAN strongly opposed Ahok who is considered as opportunist politician cadre and now Ahok is trying to be considered as undeclared member of PDI-P that is predicted wishing to be  the partner of President Jokowi in the Presidential Election of 2019. PAN  decided to elect Annies-Sandiaga in the ballot of April 19, 2017.

The Democratic Party and PKB will make its decision of choice  soon before the second round of the Regional Election of the Province of Jakarta to be implemented. PPP of Lulung group decided to support Annies-Sandiaga. PKB  still likely analyze the trend of the political balance between Ahok-Djatrot and Annies-Sandiaga now. PKB likely  analyze now the power balance between Ahok-Djartot and Annies-Sandiaga is still unclear. The Democratic Partry is likely in confusing situation. Former President SBY, the Chairman of the Democratic Party,  is likely busy to think how should he save the Democratic Party which   has not any prominent politician among its existing political cadres now. Ibas and AHY are apparently not potential political cadres of the Democratic Party. We should imagine the Presidential Election of 2019 is also the strategic situation that the Democratic Party to consider as its political  interest.  Former President SBY likely thinks to save the Democratic Party he has to be close to President Jokowi. That is why he tried his best to be close to President Jokowi  but  its political position as neutral in the Regional Election of Jakarta to be indicating his willingness to be flexible in facing the rivalry between Ahok-Djarot and Anies-Sandiaga.

Because of this political situation people tend to consider the Regional Election of Jakarta on   April 19,  2017 is definitely the national  political rivalry in facing the Presidential Election of 2019. People tend to predict Prabowo is the only eminent political rival of President Jokowi in the Presidential Election of 2019, though wisely Prabowo always performed his political attitude sympathetically.

Prabowo has never  shown his intention to join the Presidential Election as the Presidential Candidate in the Presidential Election of 2019. Golkar Party  temporarily support President Jokowi Cabinet and Ahok-Djarot, but likely Golkar Party has not yet opened  and showed  all its political card.  Golkar Party likely wishes to  consolidate its  position to grasp the national political role of the Indonesian Government  created  after the Presidential Election  of 2019.

PPP as historical and mature  Islamic political party  now could not become  the political cornerstone of the Islamic  political community. The Islamic political society are generally  to feel sat PPP could not solve its internal disagreement and dramatically to have  broken.

The pair of Ahok-Djarot against the pair of  Anies-Sandiaga will likely neck to neck since they have only very narrow difference of vote achievement of 167.244 voters or 2.5 % of all valid voters in the ballot of February 15,  2017. This small narrow difference number of voters will be apparently also very delicate number in the political rivalry between Ahok-Djarot and Anies-Sandiaga to get vote of “50 % plus 1”. Meanwhile  PDI-P definitely  realize  that Ahok is in fact  in difficult situation. Ahok because of unending court session would likely  give him chance to join the ballot of April 19, 2017 and to have the possibility to win the ballot.

However  it is likely  after the ballot  Ahok  has to quit from his political life forever  so assuming Ahok-Djarot could win the ballot  but the Court Session on Ahok would punish him significantly.  Definitely PDI-P has to trust to the political capability of Djarot as Vice Governor  in supporting President Jokowi in the Presidential election of 2019. Clearly Megawati analyzes the future of PDI-P depend strongly to the Presidential Election of 2019.

The Democratic Party and PKB  had not yet make their respective choice and also  there are  several  thousands of   Volunteers the former  supporters of  AHY – Silvy who are still uncertain.  The Democratic Party in term of votes will not be likely calculated as potential power.  People tend to consider  the Democratic Party to have lost its political influence among the society considering the existence of the Democratic Party is mainly depending on former President SBY.

PKB who has the position as the Minister for Religion of the Cabinet will likely support Ahok-Sjarot. The group of former voters of AHY-Silvy are now becoming the object of campaign done by both pairs of Ahok-Djarot and Annies-Sandiaga who respectively said they have been successfully to get promise of the former volunteer of AHY-Silvy to support them. This group are definitely uncertain voters because they are not organized firmly by AHY anymore or any political group.

This general political situation also has been definitely influenced by a number of political development following the political situation happened since the beginning of the year of 2017 until recently,  mainly  Ahok Gate and the legal confrontation between Antasari and former President SBY which are said committing to the important interest of President Jokowi Palace. Ahok Gate as the political movement of 93 members of the House of the Representatives and four Political Parties factions to discredit President Jokowi and eventually to pull out the political trust/approval of the House of the Representatives presented to President Jokowi in the beginning of his term as the President.

The decision of making  Ahok Gate to be the official agenda of the House of the Representatives  will be made by the Plenum Meeting of the House of the Representatives  after Wednesday March 15, 2017. However Ahok Gate likely will be rejected by the Plenum Meeting of the House of the Representatives,  because the majority members of the House of the Representatives are the members of the Political Parties which are supporting the Cabinet The case of E-IDCard has likely dominated the political situation of the country and erasing the issue of Ahok Gate from the political theatre.

Unfortunately the image of President Jokowi as the protector of Ahok is definitely clear because of President Jokowi  open attitude   showing his close relation  to Ahok such as inviting Ahok sitting together in official President’s  car and asking Ahok to join President Jokowi to meet on King Salman of Saudi Arabia  when the King arrived the Air Force Base of Halim Perdanakusuma. The opposition group to President Jokowi are criticizing President Jokowi’s  attitude as an improper attitude because Ahok is in the  Court Session. However analyst tend to predict President Jokowi attitude is definitely his intention to ask the people to  vote for Ahok-Djarot in the ballot of April  19,  2017.

The period of the Silent Campaign since March 5, 2017 until April 15, 2017 is the chance for Ahok-Djarot and Anies-Sandiaga to launch their respective campaign  without conducting any mass rally or public gathering.  However apparently  both pairs of the Governor Candidates have been utilizing the  Silent Campaign  to  launch  hoax  and  issues or slogan to discredit each other. Ahok-Djarot was describing the success of Ahok – Djarot as the present Governor  and   definitely  Ahok-Djarot  is  the pertinent Candidate for the next Governor and Vice Governor. Ahok-Djarot also accused   the sweet offerings and promises  of Anies-Sandiaga as the challenge Candidate is just an illusion.

People are now considering the various attractive offering of Anies-Sandiaga such as the procurement of homes without advance payment, the distribution of salary for the village and local citizen organization  (RT/RW) and the social salary for the workers of mosques and  also stopping the Reclamation Project without deleting the work chance for the construction workers and apparently to help the fishermen  to get their area of fishing. And last but not least also the promise of Anies-Sandiaga to perform the  sympathetic leadership to the common society if Anies-Sandiaga is elected as the Governor. Hoax is distributed describing  the leadership of Ahok as rude, hard, in-human and did not respect others accordingly the people of Jakarta wish to have the new Governor and Vice Governor.

Unfortunately   the utilization of the  religion as some kind  of similar to the “ideological”  background in the political battle  has been likely manipulated and exploited by the “subversive action”  to disintegrate  the social unity.  The “commandment to the group of religious followers to refuse  taking  care of the demise of  someone of the same religion but of different political choice” has been publicly spread out. Luckily this “evil commandment” that has been touching the deep  heart feeling   of the Indonesian society has been vastly  deleted.  The unclear source of this “evil activity”   had been   demolished   vastly and this issue had not been discussed   and commented in exaggeration. People likely always   remember  to the old warning “Beware to the subversive action around you”  “Subversive action” is covered and illegal action against the Indonesian security and stability.

Aside  from  the development of the situation directly relating to the implementation of the ballot in relation with the regional election on April 19, 2017 it is apparently the court session concerning  the case of Ahok who is  accused insulting the Islamic religion, on the 14 th session this issue was discussed in peace and soft manner.  However the ending result of  this case is still likely uncertain. Observer  are considering until April 19, 2017 likely the legal court on Ahok case would have not yet  the  ending result and accordingly Ahok could be definitely  joining the ballot on April 19, 2017 and definitely  Ahok would have chance  to be  elected as the Governor of the Province of Jakarta for 2017-2022. If this assumption  to have taken  place  the impact to the reaction of supporters of Annies-Sandiaga could be predicted rude and hard  that could  be provoking the unexpected riot and mass  action inspired by 411 (mass action in front of the Palace), 212 (Praying  together in the National Monument) and the  212 (mass action to the House of the Representatives  demanding Ahok to be jailed”.

This unexpected situation will definitely provoke the issue that the Court is not fair and intentionally follows the Government will to protect Ahok ,  conducting  the unending  session of the legal court  so that Ahok to have chance to join the ballot and possibly to  win the Regional Election on April 19, 2017.

In conclusion the unending legal court of Ahok case could likely  provoking the  suspicious to the intentionally  design effort to give chance to  Ahok to join and possibly to win the Regional Election.   This trend of development is potentially dangerous and  it  will likely  provokes the political situation of Jakarta could be expected worse.

This situation could be predicted clearly because until end of March 2017, it is indicating the political balance  are of the same chance of both pairs of Governor candidates to win.  The balance will not  like change much until the ballot  on April 19, 2017.

It likely the various political  confrontation  concerning the Regional Election of Jakarta among the political parties will un-intentionally  decrease because of the explosion of the corruption case on E-IDCard project that is accusing the involvement of  the   various eminent Politicians of the  various political parties and a significant number of former members of the House of the Representatives of the previous  term.

Now the legal court on this corruption case is just started handled by the Corruption Demolishment Commission  (KPK) and it is predicted those  legal court will last very  long time and definitely  becoming the new sensitive  political  issues among the big political parties, mainly the Golkar Party and the PDI-P party the two political Parties supporting Ahok. Even Ahok could be likely brought to a  critical position because he was also the member of the Commission II of The House of the Representative of the former term. He is strongly possible to be call on as the court witness of the corruption case being  processed by the Corruption Demolishment Commission. Ahok is also suspected actively discuss the implementation of  the E-IDC and also suspected to  receive the dirty money corrupted from the budget of E-IDC project.

The Political Situation of March-April 2017

In general in term of the political activities of the group of Ahok-Djarot and the group of Anies-Sandiaga in their effort to get voters of “50% plus 1” in the second round of the Regional Election of Jakarta it is likely to have moved in normal procedure as the State Agenda but could possibly affect the dangerous result. There is indication the strong cynical hoax between Ahok-Djarot and Anies-Sandiada is potentially embark to the eminent confrontation.

In term of choice the political attitude of around 2.364.577 or 42,5 % of voters gained by Ahok-Djarot and the 2.194.333 or 40 % of voters gained by Anies-Sandiaga in the first round of the Regional Election of Jakarta will be likely to be the basic rivalry of the ballot of April 19. 2017.

Since the rest of 937.355 or 17,5 % of voters as the former supporters of Agus-Silvy are no more organized firmly their choice will be likely free and open for the political move of  both Ahok-Djarot and Annies-Sandiaga to grasp their  support. However until the beginning of April 2017 there has no any clear development concerning this group though the security apparatus should watch the impact   of this situation earnestly.

The ballot for the implementation of the Second Round of the Regional Election of Jakarta has been started with the implementation of the Silent Campaign that is allowed to be done by both pairs of the Governor and Vice Governor Candidate for Jakarta, Annies-Sandiaga against Ahok-Djarot as the defender, since Sunday March 5, 2017 until April 15, 2017.There is strong hope this situation should not embark to social confrontation that could endanger the national unity. Mean while without clear result who is accused insulting the Islamic religion,  Ahok Gate, and Antasari-former President SBY conflict would certainly confusing the political situation.

The new dramatic situation could likely appear because Ahok being the former member of Commission II of the House of Representative was  apparently involving in the meeting of the House of the Representatives to decide the E-IDC project consuming around  6 trillion rupiah with the Government lost  of around 2,9 trillion rupiah caused by the corruption. It is  said there are significant numbers of the members of the House of the Representatives to receive the dirty money as the result of the corruption of around 2,9 trillion rupiah.

The Judicial appeal

The slow process of various legal problems would likely affect  the formulation of  firm government policy on several political and security problems  urgently. The unending legal court session of Ahok case is calculated as potentially confusing political situation, if apparently Ahok would be able to join the ballot on April 19, 2017 and could possibly  win the election. People start to suspect the unending court session of Ahok case is intentionally  designed  to give chance to Ahok to survive. The judicial appeal could likely be raised to the Judicial Community to decide the maximum numbers of sessions to judge any  legal problem.

*)    Wiritten by a Political and Security Observer. Lives in Jakarta.

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