The Jakarta office of the Election Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu Jakarta) has decided to allow the use of the contentious “Jakarta Free of Mustache” campaign slogan, despite an earlier complaint from mustached Jakarta Governor and incumbent Fauzi “Foke” Bowo.
The slogan and several variations were coined by independent gubernatorial candidate Hendardji Soepandji and his running mate Riza Patria, who said they used Berkumis, the Indonesian word for mustached, as a contraction for Berantakan (Messy), Kumuh (Slum) and Miskin (Poverty).
Panwaslu Jakarta said on Tuesday they would forbid the use of mustache themed slogans until Fauzi and the rival team came to an understanding, which the two camps did on Thursday, with a few conditions.
“There should be no different coloring between [the other words in the slogan] and the word ‘mustached,’ lest it would suggest a physical trait of one of the candidates,” Panwaslu Jakarta head Ramdansyah said of one of the conditions.
He also stipulated that an explanation of the word “Berkumis” should accompany each mustache slogan.
“We’ve decided on this after consulting with language experts from the University of Indonesia and the UNJ [the Jakarta State University],” Ramdansyah said in Jakarta on Thursday.
M. Ali Anafiah, a member of the Hendardji-Riza advocacy team, said he and his colleagues met with Fauzi’s team to discuss the issue; the meetings were mediated by Panwaslu Jakarta.
“We’ve come to an agreement that we may still use the tagline . . . We’ll continue our ‘Jakarta Free of Mustache’ campaign,” Ali said.
He explained, however, that the phrase should read “Jakarta Free of Mustache” and not “No More Mustache in Jakarta,” because the latter might be seen as referring to Fauzi.
Andi Syafrani, a member of the Fauzi-Nachrowi Ramli advocacy team, said they approved the new mustache taglines because the changes in phrase were detached from Foke’s famous facial hair.
Fauzi once used his mustache to his political advantage: The slogan “Punch on His Mustache” in the 2007 Jakarta gubernatorial race was coined as a clever means of asking voters to select Fauzi by perforating his mustache on his picture on the ballot card.
Besides Fauzi, the only other Jakarta gubernatorial candidate for the upcoming July 11 election with a mustache is South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin, who sports a thin gray version.