With four months to go before the Jakarta gubernatorial election, 45.4 percent of respondents in a recent survey said they would likely vote for incumbent Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama and his running mate Djarot Syaiful Hidayat. (JG Photo/Devina Halim)

New Survey Puts Ahok-Djarot Way Ahead in Jakarta Gubernatorial Race

BY :DEVINA HALIM

OCTOBER 21, 2016

Jakarta. With four months to go before the Jakarta gubernatorial election, 45.4 percent of respondents in a recent survey said they would likely vote for incumbent Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and his running mate Djarot Syaiful Hidayat.

The result of the survey, released on Thursday (20/10), shows that 22.4 percent of respondents would likely vote for candidate pair Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and Sylviana Murni, and 20.7 percent for Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno. More than 11 percent of respondents remained undecided.

The survey, conducted by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) on Oct. 1-9, polled 810 Jakarta voters through multi-stage random sampling.

Of the 45.4 percent of respondents who preferred Ahok-Djarot, 48.8 percent indicated that they favored them due to their proven track record.

"The reason Ahok and Djarot have better electability is because the public is satisfied with their performance," SMRC program director Sirojudin Abbas said.

Agus was seen as an unpredictable candidate, since as a military officer until recently, he has not been active in politics. His running mate Sylviana Murni is best known for her role as Jakarta's provincial secretary under Ahok's leadership.

Anies Baswedan has been more of a lecturer than a public official, while his running mate Sandiaga Uno is recognized as a businessman rather than a bureaucrat.

The survey showed that 41 percent of Jakarta voters believe the province's economy has improved since last year, while 55 percent said Ahok's administration has been practicing good governance.

"People can't be trapped and fooled by politicized issues, as they have become more rational in evaluating the candidates," said Syamsuddin Haris of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

The results might change as the election will only take place in February next year.

"We noticed that the race will closer thought, since people have better access to information and the campaign teams are active, so there is still a chance that voters might change their preferences," Sirojudin said.

The campaign programs should therefore focus on problems haunting the city and solutions the gubernatorial hopefuls propose to address them.

"The credibility of gubernatorial candidates needs to be questioned if they have no knowledge about the city. People need to demand solutions to problems faced by Jakarta's residents," Syamsuddin said.

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