Jakarta. Both Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and Anies Baswedan have room for improvement, a dean at Gadjah Mada University said on Wednesday (15/02).
Pollsters have shown that Ahok with running mate Djarot Saiful Hidayat, and Anies with Sandiaga Uno will most likely go to second round to decide the winner in the Jakarta gubernatorial election.
In accordance with a General Elections Commission (KPU) regulation, a gubernatorial candidate must gather 50 percent of the vote plus one to win the poll, otherwise, the election will go to second round to decide the winner."If Ahok wins, his homework is to improve his political communication skills. If it is Anies — who excels in giving speeches — he needs to turn his promises into concrete actions. Both have an equal share of flaws," Erwan Purwanto, dean of social and political sciences at the university, said.
According to Erwan, Ahok's strengths lie in his micromanagement style. For example, Ahok authorized urban ward chiefs around Jakarta to fire leaders of neighborhood units found to be failing safety standards in their area and added additional reporting requirements for failing to comply.
"There are many government programs that appear to be well-received especially in terms of service because Ahok made it a point to oversee matters at all levels," Erwan said.
However, this may be a challenge for Anies, whose work ethic is questionable, according to Erwan.
"Anies has exemplary public speaking skills and manners, but the fact that he was removed from Jokowi's cabinet shows that there was a real problem. There had to have been a flaw in the [Ministry of Education's] leadership," Erwan said.
Erwan believes that the next governor should focus on two of Jakarta's main problems, flooding and traffic congestion.
Erwan said that the recent Jakarta gubernatorial election is a test case for future candidates to learn.
"Should Ahok lose, the conclusion we can draw is that political communication is paramount to success. No matter how good a governor [Ahok] has been, his political communications skills could be his downfall. Other [future] candidates should learn from this," he said.
"Should Anies lose, it shows that the public cares less about public persona than performance," Erwan said.