Who will be the Next President?

The public are shouting out for Jokowi to become President in 2014. But on one occasion this Solo man once said he wanted to focus on taking care of Jakarta. It appears that Jokowi isn’t yet interested in conquering the Indonesian presidency contest despite the result of so many polls that put  him in the first position against Prabowo. The public are curious and are wondering who presumably will replace President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono?

The 2014 legislative and presidential election is getting closer, but the Indonesian political map still is not yet stable. The political parties that will fight still have the same opportunities, although many surveys say Golkar and PDI-P will win the election. These surveys, of course, cannot be used as a benchmark since anything can change in a flash.  Let’s take for instance PKS and the Democratic Party. When they first appeared, these two new parties successfully gained the trust of the people and won their elections. Now both of them are failing sharply due to corruption cases that have entangled their cadres.

Though in the public eye the “careers” of both political parties are on the edge, they still have the ambition to achieve as many voters as many as possible in the 2014 legislative election. It is likewise with the other parties participating in the 2014 elections because the requirement to be able to carry a party’s presidential candidate must have a voter minimum of 20%. The major political parties seem reluctant to form a coalition and at this point there are no definite signs of which party will coalesce towards the 2014 presidential election. Every political party is still focused on the 9 April 2014 election.

Although the legislative elections have not been polling, the names for the 2014 presidential candidates have emerged. What seems to be consistent among them is Abu Rizal Bakrie (Golkar), Prabowo (Gerindra), and Wiranto (Hanura). Many think Megawati Sukarnoputri will go forward as a PDI-P candidate for president. There has been no official announcement of the bull party. The result of the PDI-P congress in Bali in 2010 only gave a mandate to Megawati to determine who the presidential candidate would be because she is considered to have keen political intuition. Some cadres and sympathizers of the PDI-P have already declared their support for Jokowi as a presidential candidate in 2014 and are calling themselves Projo (pro Jokowi).

Support for Jokowi to appear in the 2014 presidential election contest continues to strengthen, according to several recent surveys. In a recent survey conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jokowi’s electability is the highest at 34.7% of votes, defeating Prabowo, who reached 10.7%. Another survey conducted by Indikator showed results that were not much different. If the presidential election were held at this time, it would lead to Jokowi as winner with 47.4% of votes, followed by Prabowo (15.8%), and Bakrie (12.6%).

From the survey results, it can be concluded that more and more people today admire Jokowi’s figure and leadership style. This makes the vote for Jokowi rise rapidly, beating Prabowo and Bakrie. Other names like Jusuf Kalla, Megawati, Wiranto, and the famous dangdut singer Rhoma Irama even are not able to beat Jokowi on the stage of presidential candidate 2014 polling. In this case, the PDI-P has a very big chance to win the presidency if Jokowi moves forward as a candidate.  As Megawati has often lately been seen with Jokowi at public events, this further reinforces Jokowi’s association with the PDI-P. Once again, it is uncertain whether Jokowi will go forward, but that strategy is benefitting the PDI-P in that the public are thinking that if you want to choose Jokowi, choose the party first.

Let’s suppose Jokowi is not included in the roster of 2014 presidential candidates; then Prabowo and Bakrie would be competing tightly. Based on the results of a recent survey conducted by Pol-Tracking on electability, the chairman of a political party ahead of the 2014 presidential election, Bakrie reached 17.04% votes. After him is the name of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Gerindra Prabowo with 15.75%, Chairman of the PDI-P Megawati Sukarnoputri 11.21%, and Hanura Chairman Wiranto 10.12 %.

If the appearance of Jokowi is only to attract wider public sympathy towards PDI-P that could boost the vote in the 2014 legislative elections, the party is going to get it. And, when Megawati has her own ideas, aka hold Jokowi in his current position as Governor of DKI Jakarta, then Prabowo has a bigger chance of occupying the presidency seat in 2014, defeating Bakrie, who is still tied to the issue of tax evasion and the tragedy of Lapindo Mud. Although there are cases of human rights and the issue of a new order of a government coup shadowing Prabowo, his figure is still worthy of being the alternative leader for the people of Indonesia because he was known to support a pro-democratic economy.

But that does not mean the President and Vice President candidates Hanura and Wiranto-Hary Tanoesoedibjo lost their opportunities. Actually they are both the portrait of an ideal partner. Wiranto represents the “indigenous” demographic and Tanoesoedibjo is the descendant of Chinese businessmen. Unfortunately, it’s doubtful their party can reach 20% of the vote in legislative elections in 2014. Coalition is one way to smooth them to step forward. Having said that, they need to hard work so that other political parties are willing to compromise and accept their duet.

Therefore, it is worthwhile to wait for legislative elections in 2014 when the map of Indonesian political power will be obvious. In principle, in politics there are no opponents and no friends. There is only the interest. So do not get shocked easily.

About Rina Hutajulu 17 Articles
Rina Hutajulu is an independent journalist for the Dekker Centre focusing on political studies of civil society movements and environmental issues in Indonesia. She writes for various on line media and print media as well. Rina is based in Jakarta.

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