The modern strategy used by Jokowi's campaign team managed to undermine Fauzi's voter base. Yudhoyono intervened to help the incumbent governor's campaign.
For Joko Widodo, the first round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election was like a football game. In order to go up against the defending champion, who was supported by abundant funds and a broad base of supporters, his team had to prepare a cunning strategy, directly attacking the heart of his opponent's defenses.
This mayor of Solo dubbed this strategy the quick passing game, currently popular in Spanish football. Their national team recently became the 2012 European champions by playing attractive football, mainly consisting of short and quick passes and nimble moves. "If the Spanish use short passes, we use sweet bait in the neighborhoods," said this candidate nominated by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Gerindra Party, last week.
According to the quick count by a survey group a few hours after voting closed at 1pm on Wednesday last week, Joko Widodo and his teammate won the most votes, namely 42.6 percent. This was more than the number of votes cast for the incumbent ticket of Fauzi Bowo-Nachrowi Ramli, which only came to 33 percent.
The winning vote for Jokowi surprised many, even his own campaign team. "We never imagined it would be so big," said Andrinof Chaniago, executive director of the Cirus Surveyors Group, a survey group hired by Gerindra. However, according to calculations made before the election, Jokowi was estimated to get far less votes than Fauzi.
Jokowi did not even have enough time to campaign. Since registering as a candidate in March, Jokowi has had to divide his time between Jakarta and Surakarta (Solo). Every Thursday he flew to Jakarta and returned three days later.
Requests for work leave to campaign were not always immediately granted by the Governor of Central Java, Bibit Waluyo. Despite both of them belonging to PDI-P, the two had never openly clashed, especially when Jokowi was strongly opposed to the construction of a mall in his city, supported by the governor. He even sent a legal proxy team to meet Bibit to arrange for the work leave.
The leave was finally granted, but it was only for two weeks. He was still required to attend an invitation to a plenary meeting of the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD). Unfortunately, the meeting this mayor had to attend was moved to Monday morning. Practically speaking, Jokowi only spent weekends in Jakarta.
With such limited time, his campaign team had to move quickly. "We had to determine which points were the opponents' bases of support," said Basuki, who is better known as Ahok. The opposing bases of support were the subdistricts where the majority had voted for Fauzi Bowo in the 2007 election for governor.
Using the interim voter rolls, Jokowi's team also identified which subdistricts had the most voters. Areas having the largest families, averaging four to six people, were also mapped out. The team also categorized the regions with the highest numbers of abstaining voters, the poor, Javanese and Muslims.
Using these various criteria, the team decided on 77 of the 267 subdistricts which Jokowi and Ahok needed to visit during the campaign period. The campaign materials were customized for the problems in each area. In poor subdistricts, Jokowi campaigned about health insurance and education, things which he had successfully implemented in Solo. In areas with many first-time voters and 'white group' abstaining voters, the campaign was: "Don't abstain, I am here."
According to the head of his campaign team, Boy Sadikin, a number of teams supported Jokowi's campaign. In addition to the official team led by him and Cirus, there was also the Polmark Indonesia political consultant, the Red and White Team staffed with volunteers from PDI-P and Gerindra, as well as 20,000 volunteers from Mangunsarkoro which in 2009 was used by herbal medicines businesswoman Mooryati Soedibyo to be elected a member of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD). Those volunteers gathered at coordination posts near Mooryati's home on Jalan Ki Mangunsarkoro, Central Jakarta.
Jokowi and Ahok realized they did not have much money to spend on the campaign. The donations from businesspeople and individuals for the campaign team only came to Rp9 billion as of last weekend. "We used this money for campaigning on the ground, which cost Rp15 million a day," said Boy Sadikin.
Hashim Djojohadikusumo acted on his own. He funded the surveys, outdoor advertising, and media ads, which were quite expensive. Those ads always featured a closing statement from his older brother, Prabowo Subianto, who is a presidential hopeful in the 2014 election. "I know nothing of what Pak Hashim's team is doing," said Boy.
The team under his control operated mostly in the field, trailing along behind the campaign teams of the other candidates. Boy explained that if teams from other candidates had already been to a particular area, he would direct volunteers to follow them in, then 'bomb' them with stickers and T-shirts, including during the three-day no-campaigning period. "We invited residents to have tea or coffee while talking about how Jokowi stands, compared to the other candidates," he said.
PDI-P went all-out for this election. Party chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri ordered all party members in the House of Representatives (DPR) to act. Two members were sent to each district. "We directed special staff members to conduct door-to-door surveys," said Arif Wibowo, who is a member of the legislature from the East Java election area. He and his colleague, Daryatmo, were assigned to handle the Pasar Rebo district in East Jakarta.
This assault on the opponent's defenses quieted down supporters of Fauzi Bowo, who before the election predicted a one-round victory.
The noise coming from 100 Fauzi supporters, who were shouting "One round" slowly came to a stop when the television stations broadcast the interim results of the quick count, showing Jokowi-Ahok in first place, according to all of the survey groups conducting exit polls. When the camera at the campaign headquarters of Fauzi-Nachrowi Ramli turned to them, they were not chanting "Fauzi Bowo ever onward."
Fauzi and Nachrowi had left their campaign headquarters in Central Jakarta. "Even though it is not yet final, the results of the quick count are not what we expected," said Fauzi. "We will study the results and analyze them before facing the second round [of the election]."
The Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU) will not announce the official vote count until July 20. However, the quick count estimates that it will take at least two rounds, and Jokowi-Ahok and Fauzi-Nachrowi will be the ones who advance to a September 20 second round.
None of the members of Fauzi Bowo's campaign team expected this outcome. Surveys conducted before the election predicted that the incumbent governor would win with 48 percent of the vote. Fauzi's team was even convinced that their candidate would likely win the election outright in the first round. "I could not sleep for two days, because I was thinking about the result," said Eka Kusmayadi, director of research for Jaringan Suara Indonesia, Fauzi's political consultant.
Budi Siswanto, secretary of Fauzi's campaign team, was reluctant to comment. "Just wait for the results of the KPU's count," he said. However, he did say that Fauzi received less votes because support in his base areas voted for Jokowi in the final moments. As of election day, said Budi, support was still being given to their candidate.
With Rp70 billion in campaign funds, Fauzi could do anything he wanted. His ads were on all television and radio stations, and his banners and billboards were everywhere. As the incumbent, he could freely campaign as the governor of Jakarta. Plenty of public figures voiced their support of him too. Among them were Ryaas Rasyid, Wiranto and Sutiyoso.
Sutiyoso was even given a direct order by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, head of the Democrat Party Board of Patrons. According to someone close to Sutiyoso, the Jakarta governor before Fauzi, he had been summoned to the State Palace on May 8. Yudhoyono did not say why he had asked him to come over. However, while Sutiyoso was waiting at Wisma Negara, he saw Fauzi Bowo heading to the same room. It was clear who would become the new governor.
In a tripartite meeting, Yudhoyono asked Sutiyoso and the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI), which he leads, to support Fauzi. According to some sources, Yudhoyono said, "PKPI used to be in the same coalition with us. For that reason, I asked Bang Yos to support Pak Fauzi." The president also asked Sutiyoso, who had led Jakarta for 10 years since 1997, to publicly announce such support.
Sutiyoso did not deny or confirm the story. However, he did take over Fauzi's campaign team, which arrived at the end of May. "I wanted to join, pending three conditions: continue with the monorail (project), construction of an east canal, and construction of an Islamic Center," he told Tempo.
Sutiyoso then appeared in an ad, promoting his former deputy governor. In an ad created by Fastcomm, which is led by Ipang Wahid, he appeared to be younger. His hair was a slick black, his face fine, and sparkling lips. "For a better Jakarta, I call on everyone who feels a sense of belonging in Jakarta to again support Fauzi Bowo," he said.
Similar ads featured dangdut music singer Rhoma Irama, Betawi figure Ridwan Saidi, and other famous figures. All of these promotions were broadcast during the campaign period.
This campaign over the airwaves at least for the meantime failed to hold back the direct assault from Jokowi's team. In the first round, Jokowi is up 1-0.
By Bagja Hidayat, Ananda Teresia, Amandra Mustika, Gadi Makitan, Ananda Badudu, Pramono
No. 47/12, July 17, 2012