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Indonesia: “Jokowi vs Foke” in Jakarta Governor Election Run-Off

Joko Widodo won the first round of the Jakarta, Indonesia governor election ahead of incumbent Fauzi Bowo by up to nine percent. Joko is a popular figure who built his reputation as a mayor of Solo, a city in Central Java province. During his term, the city turned more green, friendly, and humanly. The election is now  becoming “Jokowi vs Foke” showdown, as both figures are popularly called.

The election day was marred by some problems such as intimidation, illegal presence of campaign attributes, substandard logistics, and allegations of money politics.

Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo. Photo by Henrikus Suparjono from Wikimedia

Twitter's time line during that day was dominated by election information. Netizens actively sharedtheir opinions on the candidate they voted. After election day, discussions continued because it's almost certain Jakartans will have a run-off with Joko and Fauzi as two candidates left. It is almost clear that most of netizens are irritated by the way Fauzi's governing the city. Not a few times that Fauzi chose not to attend public debates. And Fauzi is the first person to blame for every problems in Jakarta, such as traffic, flood, shopping malls proliferation, and ugliness of mass transportation system.

@arisshaquilla Jokowi will make a thousand times (better) governor than Fauzi Bowo. Because we don't need an arrogant leader #justsaying

@arisharp Most or all eliminated candidates will throw support behind Joko Widodo in second round of voting, so Fauzi Bowo looks to be a goner

A blogger, Ismail Solichin [id], posted:

Jakarta sepertinya sudah memutuskan pilihan. Fauzi Bowo (FB) sudah tidak bisa lagi “dijual” kembali pada putaran kedua nanti. Hanya mukjizat yang bisa memulangkan Joko Widodo ke Solo…

…Bahasa batin masyarakat sudah tidak bisa dibendung lagi, mereka menghendaki kepemimpinan baru yang menghendaki Jakarta lebih memperhatikan kepentingan rakyat ketimbang kepentingan korporat yang disimbolkan dengan kehadiran mal-mal dan mini market-mini market  yang terbukti melindas dan meminggirkan para pedagang kecil dan tradisional…

…Tentu bukan hanya persoalan pasar tradisional saja, juga persoalan kemacetan, banjir, penataan perumahan dan lingkungan serta seabreg masalah lainnya.

Jakarta has already made a decision. Fauzi Bowo can't be “sold” anymore in the run-off. Only miracle can bring Joko Widodo back to Solo…

…People aspiration can't be held back anymore, they want new leadership who will govern Jakarta, who is more concerned about the people rather than corporate interests, which is symbolized by a myriad of shopping malls and modern mini markets that are crushing out local markets and small traditional merchants…

…Certainly it's not just about markets, but also traffic, flood, residential area, and environment and many more problems.

Leading candidate Jokowi Widodo

In welcoming run-off soonish, people admit receiving black campaign to vilify Joko. The messages spread anonymously through Blackberry messenger mentioning about religion and ethnic issue, which actually occurredbefore election day. Such primordial issue is a push/pull factor for Indonesians to vote.

A netizen, Joel Picard [id], said:

@sociotalker 5 tahun lalu Foke menendang isu SARA dg slogannya “jakarta utk semua”. Sekarang SARA jadi kawan akrab Foke demi kekuasaan.

@sociotalker: Five years ago, Foke dismissed primordial issues with his slogan, “Jakarta for everybody”. Now it becomes his weapon for the sake of power.

Another netizen, Ahmad Fawzy, asks for candidates to act like gentlemen and not use such black campaign for run-off.

@bedahplastik Jokowi + Foke = JOKE. They both should just prepare for next round, no need to be whining & complaining like 2 kids fighting over candy bar.

Run-off election is scheduled on September 20.

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