The Jakarta Election Commission, or KPUD, received required campaign finance reports from both gubernatorial candidate pairs on Sunday (16/04) ahead of the capital's run-off election later this week. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Religion, Racism Card Not at Play in Jakarta Election, Survey Suggests


OCTOBER 06, 2016

Jakarta. Religion, ethnicity and race will not be a factor for voters in next year's Jakarta gubernatorial election, observers said on Thursday (06/10), citing a new survey.

Conducted by Jakarta-based Populi Center late last month and involving 600 respondents, the survey shows 42.5 percent of its Muslim respondents favor incumbents Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and Djarot Saiful Hidayat.

Certain groups have been attempting to play the religion, ethnic and race card — often abbreviated as SARA in local parlance — against incumbent governor Ahok, who is a Christian of Chinese descent.

"This suggests that the religion, ethnic and race card won't be a factor in next year's Jakarta election. Voters now are very well-informed and educated," Populi Center researcher Nona Evita said at a press conference on Thursday.

The survey also shows three main qualities that voters look for in a candidate: free from corruption (30.2 percent), resoluteness (30 percent) and being close to the common people (21.8 percent).

"The religion card doesn't have any sway over voters anymore. They're more interested in how the new governors will improve life in Jakarta," a political analyst from Populi, Ali Munhanif, said.

25.3 percent of the survey's Muslim respondents favor Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno to win next year. Only 16.8 percent favor Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono-Sylviana Murni.