Offensive Strategy Marks Widodo, Subianto's Open Campaign
Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto. Photo by Privacy.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The open campaign period of the 2019 Presidential Election was inaugurated by the General Election Commission on Sunday (03/24). The duration is less than one month because the voting day has been set on April 17, 2019.

The initial selection of the campaign shows the two candidates using an offensive strategy because they start an open campaign in the opponent’s ‘cage’. The first open campaign of Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno was held in Solo and Sragen, Central Java while Joko Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin began in Serang, Banten.

In 2014, Widodo, who was accompanied by Jusuf Kalla, won in Solo. His supporters reached 84.30 percent. Whilst, in Serang-Banten, where Subianto-Hatta Rajasa paired, won 57.1 percent of the vote five years ago.

The strategy of killing opponents on their own is confirmed by the statement of the officials of each camp. The Secretary of the National Widodo-Amin’ campaign Team Hasto Kristiyanto, for example, said Banten was chosen to strengthen the consolidation of incumbent supporters.

“We chose Banten because the population was also crowded and strengthening Widodo-Amin’ positioning. We want to make sure Banten no longer become the supporters of the opposition,” he said.

While head committee of Subianto-Uno campaign team, Afrizal Firmansyah, firmly said that they “wanted to whiten Solo.”

There are two zones for open campaign. Zone A consists of Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, Banten, Jakarta, West Java, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Papua.

While Zone B consists of Bengkulu, Lampung, South Sumatra, Bangka Belitung, Riau Islands, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, North Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, West Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Southeast Sulawesi, North Maluku, and West Papua.

The political observer from Indonesia Political Review Ujang Komarudin considered this open campaign is important become a momentum for both of them to fight in a little more time left before the election date.

“The dynamics in the field when the campaign is open is important. Because if there is one incident in an area that is truly extraordinary, then swing voters with a size-able portion can turn away,” he said.

Moreover, the latest Research and Development Kompas survey, he continued, showed the electability fluctuations of the two candidates. The potential for voter migration is very likely to occur by the strategies and programs delivered during the campaign.

He mentioned that besides the factors of the presidential debate, a number of cases such as the case of bribery buying and selling of Romahurmuziy, would influence the undecided voters as well as the case of public lie Ratna Sarumpaet.

On the other hand, undecided and swing voters which are still in the figure of 15-25 per cent, he said, will be more affected by campaigns through social media because the majority of these groups are millennials. The number was quite significant and was able to change the vote acquisition map.

Maximize Air “Attack”

Perindo party’ chairman Hary Tanoesoedibjo said he would maximize the air “attack” in the open campaign period to win the battle. He said, “Entering an open campaign, we maximize it through the air such as television, radio, online media, print, social media because it is free to campaign.”

He stated that all supporting parties would move well through social media and field campaigns. The focus of the campaign will be to show Widodo’ achievements during one period of his administration.

This was confirmed by the winning team leader, Erick Thohir. “The results are felt by many rural communities, especially infrastructure, airports, ports, improvement in education, health, it is the basics that can become the foundation for the future. That is the achievement we want to echo in this campaign period,” he stated.

“Of course, we will also campaign for Widodo’s new breakthrough. Three mainstay cards will continue to be echoed: the Indonesian Smart Card for College, Pre-Work Card, and Cheap Food Packages,” he added.

Focus on Increasing Electability

Meanwhile, the National Winning Team of Subianto-Uno will focus on increasing electability during this open campaign period. Opposition Spokesman Coordinator, Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak said there were two things that would be the focus of the campaign team.

First is voicing promises to stabilize prices of basic commodities and increase people’s purchasing power.He said the promise would be conveyed to women or mothers who were considered to feel the impact of the increase in prices of basic commodities. “We want to make sure the stability of our prices is present and people’s purchasing power is high,” he said.

The second focus is the promise of providing employment, especially for young people. Uno will campaign for the nationalization of the OK OCE program to complement the idea of the Ready to Work House carried out.

“We prepared the OK OCE program, nationalized its program for young people who needed to channel their talents as entrepreneurs. The Ready-to-Work House Program would be perfected by that,” he said.

He stated that his team would echo programs that were really needed by the community such as the elimination of motorbike taxation, the implementation of life-long licenses, tax-free for the community about earning under Rp8 million (US$567.37) and the protection of clerics, religious leaders and religious symbols.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com