The United Development Party (PPP) announced its decision on Friday to support incumbent Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo in the runoff of the Jakarta gubernatorial election set for Sept. 20, after its preferred candidate, South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin, was defeated in the first round of the election.
PPP chairman and Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said he believed Fauzi had more experience in handling Jakarta in contrast to his opponent, Solo Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
Fauzi and his running mate, Nachrowi Ramli, finished second in the July 11 first round of the election, securing 34 percent of the total vote. Jokowi and his running mate, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, garnered 42.6 percent of the vote.
The Sept. 20 runoff election will be held because the election can only be won by a majority vote, and neither candidate secured more than 50 percent of votes in the first round.
Suryadhama explained that his party would endorse Fauzi despite an awareness of “flaws he might have had” during his term in office; he expressed his hope that these would be eliminated if Fauzi were re-elected.
“If any of their programs have barely touched the people, surely we must improve them. These include programs to tackle urban problems, such as garbage, floods and traffic jams,” he added.
Suryadharma revealed that PPP officials are communicating with the Fauzi-Nachrowi campaign, and that the party is now even involved in deciding campaign strategy.
The Fauzi-Nachrowi ticket has been backed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, while the Jokowi-Ahok team is supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Gerindra Party.
Alex Noerdin was mainly backed by the Golkar Party.
A total of six candidate pairings ran in the election’s first round.