Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto - Photo: Privacy

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – As a democratic country, the debate should not only be ceremonial and conditional, but must provide epistemic effects on political education and democratic life. It means, the strength of the argumentation and presentation of vision and mission in the debate can be a credit point for the public to assess the performance and vision of the leadership of each camp in the future.

The first debate of the 2019 Indonesia Presidential Election will be held today (01/17) at 19.00 a.m. local time. Both partners stated that they were ready to enter the battle of ideas on the theme of law, human rights, corruption, and eradication of terrorism. Debates are divided into six segments within 90 minutes.

In addition, the infrastructure has also been prepared, both from the aspect of the room, panelists, security, moderators, invitations and confirmation of the supporters.

For presidential candidates Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, this is not the first debate in the presidential election. In 2014, both of them had fought in the same event, with different vice-presidential partners. Jokowi paired up with Jusuf Kalla while Prabowo Subianto with Hatta Rajasa.

For Widodo and Subianto, the debate at the same time is an arena for head to head. If at the 2014 presidential election debate, the incumbent succeeded in winning the election. Now, Subianto would certainly formulate a new strategy to counter Widodo’s ideas in order to gain sympathy and support for the majority of voters.

Widodo himself said that he did not have special preparation to face the debate, even he does not do any training. In addition to having experienced since plunging into the mayor of Solo and the governor of DKI Jakarta, he considered the debate to be only a contest of programs and not real work as he always echoed.

The contender itself held a national speech on the Jan. 14 as preparation for the April 17 debate and presidential election. In his speech, Subiano mentioned the performance of state-owned enterprises called bankruptcy, for an example PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara and PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk (IDX: GIAA). But the president immediately denied that the tandem speak should refer to and use valid data.

Hoped,that in the debate, the couple will argue not to drop each other, but must show evidence based on accurate data. Meanwhile, for the vice president candidates of Amin and Uno, the debate became the momentum of how both of them presented the Indonesian public their worthiness and maturity to accompany Indonesia’s number one candidate.

On the one side,  Uno has a debating experience when accompanying Governor Anies Baswedan in the regional election in 2017. It means, psychologically, he has been able to master the battle stage, especially about gesture and formal style of public communication.

While, Amin, although he was a former Chairperson of the Indonesia Ulema, but had no experience involved in the discourse debating this time. So, long before, the winning team of Widodo-Amin had specially prepared the ulema’s representatives regarding how to communicate in the debate arena.

However, Amin is considered to have the potential to look stunning in this first debate even though it is often underestimated. Indeed, in the debate, the two candidates will dominate the arena, but the appearance of the two candidates can trigger public expectations of both partners.

The vice presidential candidate was specially prepared about the issue of terrorism which is often associated with Islam. So Amin will be a good communicant when he offers a solution to the problem well.

Meanwhile, Uno has expressed his readiness for the debate material. Previously, he had received input from experts and advisors in the fields of corruption, terrorism, law and human rights. All of these inputs become ammunition to highlight the strategy or approach of the partner to the main issues in the debate.

On the other hand, the Widodo-Amin camp saw that there would be many gaps for them to attack the Subianto-Uno in the debate tonight, especially about Human Rights. For example the issue of the kidnapping of activists who dragged the name Subianto and the corruption case of PT Duta Graha Indah, owned by Uno.

However, the promised past violations of human rights cases in the Widodo’ era will also backfire during the debate. As in his Nawa Cita promise, Widodo promised to thoroughly investigate cases of past human rights violations. But it still nothing was resolved.

This debate will be guided by six experienced panelists, namely Agus Rahardjo (Chair of the Corruption Eradication Commission), Ahmad Taufan Damanik (Chairperson of the National Human Rights), Bivitri Susanti (founder of the Indonesian Center for Law and Policy Studies), Margarito Thursday (constitutional law expert), Hikmahanto Juwana (professor of the University of Indonesia), and Bagir Manan (former Chair of the Supreme Court period 2001-2008)

In terms of security, the police will deploy 1,600 joint personnel consisting of National Police, Army, Transportation Agency, civil service Police and stakeholders. While the organizers, the National Election Commission and hotel management have stated readiness to face the fierce event.

Written by Daniel Deha, Email: