Lenny Tristia Tambun
Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo received a boost on Thursday over his closest rival for next month’s election when four minor political parties originally supporting Solo Mayor Joko Widodo shifted their allegiance to the incumbent.
The National Front Party (Barnas), the Democratic Renewal Party (PDP), the National People’s Concern Party (PPRN) and the Labor Party of Struggle (Pakar Pangan) made the announcement at the media center of Fauzi’s campaign team in Central Jakarta. Nachrowi Ramli, Fauzi’s running mate, was also in attendance.
Dony Lumingas, the Jakarta chairman of Pakar Pangan, said they chose to leave Joko, popularly known as Jokowi, after determining that Fauzi was the best of the six candidates in the race.
“Jakarta needs a leader who is highly committed to developing this city,” he said.
“It needs someone with experience. That’s why we decided as early as three weeks ago to throw our support behind the current governor.”
He claimed that with Pakar Pangan on board, the Fauzi-Nachrowi ticket was guaranteed another 100,000 votes.
Jemmy Toar, the Barnas chairman, said his party jumped ship because it believed that Fauzi’s campaign promises and programs were more realistic and viable than those of the other contenders.
“We’re learning from past experiences,” he said, adding that program continuity was a major factor.
“Every time there’s a change in leadership in Jakarta, development programs and policies get overhauled, so the development of the city has to begin from scratch each time. That means Jakarta is not advancing, it’s going backward.
“We don’t want that to happen this time around,” he added. “We want the programs introduced by Fauzi to continue.”
Nachrowi welcomed the parties’ change of allegiance and said it marked a “new era” in Jakarta politics.
“We thank these parties for returning to the right path,” he said, adding that this now gave Fauzi the support of 11 parties, including the ruling Democratic Party.
Nachrowi is the chairman of the Democrats’ Jakarta chapter.
Jokowi’s campaign team confirmed that the four parties had left it, but said the loss was not too significant.
Denny Iskandar, a campaign team manager, said as quoted by Kompas that the parties had been brought in to provide “extra support” for Jokowi, but that the core support from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) remained intact.
“But it’s a shame because [their support] could have been helpful,” he said.
Taufik, chairman of Gerindra’s Jakarta chapter, said as quoted by Vivanews.com that the four parties had not yet officially withdrawn their support for Jokowi.