Jokowi and Anies Lead List of Young Candidates For 2014

THEJAKARTAPOST.COM – Paramadina University rector Anies Baswedan had the second-best performance in the survey at 73.2 percent, followed by former finance minister and current World Bank managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati at 70.2 percent. Poll Tracking interviewed 100 opinion makers comprising experts, analysts, academics, journalists, university students, NGO activists, pollsters and senior politicians between August and October for the survey. Jokowi, Anies and Sri Mulyani topped a list that also included business tycoon Chairul Tandjung; embattled Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum; political activist Fadjroel Rachman, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politicians Puan Maharani and Pramono Anung Wibowo; Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan and Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar. Respondents were asked to choose from a list of potential candidates between 35 and 53 years of age.

Hanta Yuda, the executive director of the Poll Tracking Institute said that the survey was conducted to develop a list of younger politicians who might serve as alternatives to the current graying crop of candidates who have announced their intentions to run in 2014. “Opinion polls tend to present names of older politicians to respondents, when in fact, there are also many potential young leaders who could compete in the 2014 election,” Hanta said on Sunday. Hanta said that Jokowi, 51, could present himself as a credible politicians with the bravery, integrity, emotional maturity and communication skills needed to run for president. “Jokowi wins the hearts of our respondents because he is simply the man of the year,” he said. Jakarta’s governor-elect was respected for his clean image and humility and had developed a reputation as a low-key civil servant his two terms as the mayor of Surakarta, Central Java, Hanta said. However, Jokowi could easily turn off voters in 2014 if he fails to fulfill his campaign promises, Hanta added.

University of Indonesia (UI) political analyst Hamdi Muluk said that the only handicap that Anies, 43, faced in a potential presidential bid was his lack of government experience. “Anies captivates so many people with his youthful spirit. But, unlike Jokowi, Anies is still untested when it comes to governing,” Hamdi said. Sri Mulyani, 50, also has a reputation as a professional and capable public servant, traits that could help her running the country despite her involvement in the controversial Bank Century bailout. Hamdi said that younger candidates might attract voters even without endorsements from major political parties, as in the case of Jokowi’s election in Jakarta. Political parties should consider recruiting popular and credible candidates instead of nominating their own leaders, Hamdi said. “The Democratic Party, for instance, should open its doors to new names, because currently it lacks any influential figures. The NasDem [National Democratic] Party, as a new player, should also nominate popular figures if they want to get public support,” he said.

The Golkar Party has declared chairman Aburizal Bakrie, 65, as its presidential candidate, while it looks certain that the Great Indonesian Movement Party (Gerindra) will nominate its patron, Prabowo Subianto, 60. Former president Megawati Soe-karno Putri, 65, the chairperson of the PDI-P, is also reportedly mulling another run for the presidency.

The Jakarta Post, Oct. 8, 2012 http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/10/08/jokowi-anies-lead-list-young-candidates-2014.html

reporting by: Rizqi Arifuddin