Friday (28/10) marked the first day of campaigning in the Jakarta gubernatorial election, which will continue until Feb. 11 next year. (Antara Photo/Reno Esnir)

Campaigning in Jakarta Gubernatorial Election Off to a Slow Start

OCTOBER 28, 2016

Jakarta. Friday (28/10) marked the first day of campaigning in the Jakarta gubernatorial election, which will continue until Feb. 11 next year.

However, it seems to have gotten off to a slow start with Anies Baswedan and Djarot Saiful Hidayat the only candidates who had campaign activities.

Anies, who is a former education minister, paid an impromptu visit, in local language known as a blusukan to the Tebet Barat market in South Jakarta, while his running mate Sandiaga Uno was still abroad.

Djarot, who is running for deputy governor alongside incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, reportedly went for a blusukan at Pasar Rebo in East Jakarta.

The other candidate pair, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and Sylviana Murni, was reportedly only engaged in internal activities on the first day of campaigning.

Ahok, was quoted by local media on Wednesday as saying that he only paid a visit to Vice President Jusuf Kalla's office in Jakarta, where he was advised not to make any "controversial statements" or touch on sensitive religious matters during his campaign.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kalla said he was confident that campaigning for the Jakarta and the 101 other local elections throughout Indonesia will proceed smoothly and peacefully.

"The situation during an election since the last one is well-controlled, because there are no public marches. The competition will be tough in the media but hopefully there won't be any physical clashes," Kalla said.

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