Solo, Central Java. Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was welcomed by a jubilant crowd outside his home on Jalan Slamet Riyadi on Thursday after the charismatic politician took the lead in the first round of the Jakarta governor’s race.
“I’m proud [of Jokowi] because he has proven that a Solo resident can lead in the [Jakarta] election, although he still has to do a second round,” one of the becak (pedicab) drivers, Pardi, told journalists who were also standing outside Jokowi’s official residence.
Pardi added that it was okay if Jokowi had to leave Solo to govern Jakarta.
The becak drivers presented the mayor with a campaign poster featuring Jokowi and running mate Basuki T. “Ahok” Purnama that they had signed. Others congratulated the mayor on his success.
Jokowi’s win left Solo resident’s feeling “euphoric,” according to local media reports.
The gubernatorial candidate secured some 43 percent of the votes. Incumbent Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo trailed with 34 percent of the votes after the first round, according to a quick count conducted by several private polling agencies.
The two favored candidates will have to duke it out in a second election, with the runoff vote determining who will lead Jakarta for the 2012 to 2017 term.
Jokowi said he was touched by the becak drivers’ support, adding that some traditional market vendors also paid visit to his home to congratulate him.
“This shows that Solo residents support my bid to become the governor of Jakarta,” he said.