Ezra Sihite &Markus Junianto Sihaloho
Potential king-maker the Prosperous Justice Party will undertake a survey of public opinion before deciding which candidate to back in September’s runoff Jakarta gubernatorial ballot.
“We will consider who to back after we get results from our survey,” Anis Matta, secretary general of the party known as the PKS, said on Wednesday.
The candidate backed by the PKS finished third with about 12 percent of the vote in the first round of voting on July 11, meaning its endorsement for the Sept. 20 battle between incumbent Fauzi Bowo and rival Joko Widodo carries great weight.
Anis said Jakarta voters were not as fanatical or fixed-minded as those elsewhere, meaning they attached greater significance to the merits of the individual candidate rather than the political parties that offered an endorsement.
“It will be difficult to force the people to follow our taste. In my opinion, it’s more difficult to read the movement of undecided and swing voters,” Anis said.
Meanwhile, a problem in the vote counting in last Wednesday’s election has emerged at a polling place in Tanjung Barat, South Jakarta.
According to a statement released by Joko campaign adviser Prasetyo Edi Marsudi, the number of votes the Solo mayor was declared to have received at the polling place was fewer than he received there in reality. The size of the discrepancy was not revealed.
“Panwaslu [the Jakarta Elections Supervisory Committee] should investigate the vote-counting error. If it finds the incident to be intentional, the case should be processed by the law, in accordance with the existing law,” Prasetyo said.
He said his campaign received a report about irregularities at the Tanjung Barat polling place. The committee organizing the polling station apologized for the error in the vote count, which was signed off on by its head, Suhardi.
Prasetyo said the error that occurred at Tanjung Barat could have also taken place at other polling stations.
The Joko campaign called on Panwaslu, law enforcers and Jakarta residents to keep an eye out for unfair practices committed at polling stations.
“We need to underline this so that we can create a fair and honest regional election in Jakarta,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party said it was not worried about the likely loss by its candidate, Fauzi, in the first round of voting. The party said it was confident Fauzi would win in the second round.