Jakarta. Incumbent Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat has praised the Democratic Party's decision to allow its members to vote for their preferred candidate pairs in the second round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election on April 19.
Djarot, who is running with incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, is optimistic that he will gain additional votes after Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, the son of Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, dropped out of the race.
"I appreciate the stance of the Democratic Party and Agus, which should serve as an example for us all. They have given their supporters the right to vote for whoever they like," Djarot said in East Jakarta on Thursday (16/03).
Former rival Agus was eliminated in the first round on Feb. 15, managing to draw only 17 percent of the vote.
Many Agus voters have declared their support for Ahok-Djarot following their candidate's withdrawal.
Djarot said that the declaration of support has shattered a previous assumption that all Agus supporters would shift to rival pair Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno in the runoff election.
The deputy governor also added that he is not worried about those who decide to vote for Anies-Sandiaga, but that recent discriminatory banners and social media activity have heightened tensions in the city.
"It depends on the choice of each resident. I only ask that [any related parties] stop using religious sentiments," Djarot said.
More than 200 Agus supporters have volunteered to work for the incumbent pair's campaign.
Ahok and Anies, a former education minister, will contest in the runoff after no candidate gained an outright majority in the first round.
Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about the second round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election.