January 25, 2023
JAKARTA – With a year before Indonesia’s general election, a poll by President Joko Widodo’s camp has raised the strong possibility of pairing his leading presidential aspirant, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, with West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil as vice president.
The election is due to be held on February 14, 2024, and the poll was commissioned in December by those close to Mr Widodo, who is serving his second and final term in office.
The survey, with 1,200 respondents across Indonesia, was not intended to be made public. The results are used by the Jokowi camp to analyze and strategize.
Mr Widodo’s ruling coalition, led by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), has 471 of 575 seats in parliament.
The results of the poll, seen by The Straits Times, show that Mr Ridwan, 51, is the chosen vice-presidential candidate when elections are held in December 2023.
Although his name was not among the simulated pairings in the survey, Mr. Ridwan received 24.1 percent support from the respondents.
The second best vice-presidential hope, Tourism Minister Sandigaga Uno, received only 14.8 percent support.
A person from Mr Widodo’s camp told ST on condition of anonymity that the widely touted simulated pairing of Mr Ganjar and State Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir had not received the level of support that would make the camp confident enough to win.
“The margins between the Ganjar-Erick pairing and the Anies-AHY pairing are not comfortably wide enough,” he said, referring to former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan, the closest rival presidential aspirant from the opposition camp, and Mr. Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono , popularly known. by his initials. He is the son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The Ganjar-Erick pairing got 38.6 percent, while the Anies-AHY pairing had 30.4 percent, according to the survey.
Mr Agus, 44, is chairman of the opposition Democratic Party, while Mr Erick is a close aide to Mr Widodo and was among the biggest donors to the last presidential campaign in the last two elections.
Mr. Ganjar, 54, has a law degree from the University of Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta and a political science degree from the University of Indonesia in Jakarta. He worked in a consulting firm before becoming a PDI-P MP and then was elected Central Java Governor in 2013.
Mr. Ridwan earned a master’s degree in urban design from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1994, he was selected as a Singapore International Foundation-Asean Fellow and was an exchange student at the National University of Singapore.
He worked as an architect in New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong before becoming the mayor of Bandung in 2013 and West Java governor in 2018 on different party tickets. He recently joined the Golkar Party, a member of the ruling coalition.
Mr Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, hopes his successor will follow through on his projects, including the development of Nusantara, a new administrative capital. The current government aims to move people there by 2024.
The poll confirmed that Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto fell to third from second in the top three list of elected presidential candidates.
It also noted that the Nasdem party has increased its poll rating by about 1 percentage point in recent months to 5.1 percent.
On October 3, 2022, the party officially declared that it will nominate Mr. Anies, 53, as its presidential candidate. Since the end of 2022, Nasdem has been on a political roadshow across the country with Mr. Anies to meet potential voters.
Mr. Ganjar and Mr. Anies were considered by many, including Ms. Putri Khairunnisa, head of the National Committee of Indonesian Youth, as one of Indonesia’s likely next leaders.
Taking a neutral stance, she said: “Ganjar is a leader who strongly protects the less privileged base. Anies is a leader who delivers. Each of them has his strength.”