President Joko Widodo and his Cabinet members - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories)–The results of simultaneous regional elections, particularly in West Java, Central Java and East Java, gave a massive lift to the President Joko Widodo’s re-election bid in 2019. Though, gains made by Islamic party in the election should serve as a warning from Widodo’s camp.

Indonesia held simultaneous regional elections in 17 provinces, 115 districts, and 39 cities attended on Wednesday (27/06) involving 518 candidates with 16 of them were single candidates.

The three provinces become the key battleground for the 2019 presidential elections as all accounted for 47.6% of eligible voters in the archipelago. The first is West Java with the list of permanent voters of 31.730.042, followed by East Java of 30.155.719, Central Java of 27.068.500. Whoever the winner in the three provinces determine the support and coalition of the presidential election.

In the West Java, Ridwan Kamil and UU Ruzhanul Ulum which has the support from the government coalition parties namely the United Development Party, the NasDem Party, and the Hanura Party won the election. Kamil has also expressed his readiness to support Widodo in the presidential election 2019.

“The direction, of course, supports Jokowi [Joko Widodo] in accordance with the aspirations of the parties which are nominated me and UU,” he said in one of the programs that aired Kompas TV which was host by Aiman Witjaksono on Wednesday (27/06).

Four of Kamil’s party supporters have indeed declared themselves to support Joko Widodo in the 2019 presidential election. Ridwan Kamil confirmed will follow the decision of his party for presidential election 2019.

It seems that Kamil’s adherence to the support party can be relied upon. In the 2014 presidential election, Kamil supported president candidate Prabowo Subianto in line Gerindra-PKS which were supporting him while running for mayor of Bandung.

In Central Java, Ganjar Pranowo-Taj Yasin that supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle emerged as victors in the gubernatorial election. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle is the main party supporter of Widodo. It seems like Widodo does not have to worry because Central Java is historically the key supporter base for of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.

In East Java, the candidate who is supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle was lost, but the winning candidate Khofifah Indar Parawansa is a former minister for social affairs under Widodo’s cabinet.

Parawansa ensures he only supports Widodo in 2019 presidential election. She also admitted a willingness to join Widodo’s campaign team again. In the 2014 presidential election, Parawansa was one of Widodo’s spokesperson.

“His [Widodo] hard work certainly hopes to finish the homework,” said Parawansa in an interview with Rosiana Silalahi, Editor in Chief of Kompas TV on Wednesday (27/06).

Islamic Party

Although Widodo won in the three key provinces, Widodo must remain alert of the Islamic Party power as the result gaps were not so distant. In the West Java, the winner Ridwan Kamil’s votes only gap 5 per cent with the Islamic related parties–Gerindra Party and the Prosperous Justice Party–of Sudrajat-Ahmad Syaikhu, according to Indonesian Survey Circle quick count.

Similar tight results happened in Central Java and East Java Provinces. In East Java, the two related Islamic parties supported the Saifullah Yusuf-Puti Soekarnoputri got 46.64 per cent votes or just a difference of 6.72 per cent from the winner Khofifah Indar Parawansa-Emil Dardak, according to the Research and Development Department of Kompas quick count. In Central Java, a candidate supported by two Islamic related parties, Sudirman Said-Ida Fauziyah, got 41.66 per cent votes, the difference of 16.68 per cent to the winner’s votes.

The slight result gap with the Islamic related parties candidates cannot be ignored by the Widodo if he wants to save the votes in the 2019 presidential election. He should learn from the Jakarta election in 2017 when the candidate that uses the issue of identity and Islam won the election. Moreover, Widodo only won by a margin of 6.3 per cent from Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa that supported by Islamic related parties in the 2014 presidential election.

Email: fauzulmuna@theinsiderstories.com

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