Indonesia: Charismatic Entrepreneur Charmed Jakarta Voters

Residents of Jakarta, Indonesia went to the polls to elect a new governor for the country's capital. In a surprising twist, voters supported Joko Widodo, an entrepreneur and mayor of central Java city of Solo. Joko Widodo or Jokowi will face incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo in the second round of elections in September.

Jokowi made headlines by implementing key social reforms in the city he leads, earning him a spot in the 25 best mayors’ list of the 2012 World Mayor Prize, initiated by the City Mayor Foundation.

2012 Jakarta Gubernatorial Twitter infographic courtesy of and @enda

Blogger Anwari noted that for the first time in Indonesian electoral process, social media such as Facebook and Twitter have been used as effective campaigning tools as well as platforms for voters’ education:

lembaga-lembaga survei politik abai terhadap fakta pentingnya jejaring media sosial yang telah berfungsi sebagai medium pendidikan demokrasi. Padahal, melalui jejaring media sosial itulah aspirasi politik bukan saja bebas dihablurkan, tetapi juga disertai oleh pencuatan opini publik yang sangat tajam, bahkan melampaui ketajaman artikuasli opini di media-media massa konvensional. Dengan caranya sendiri, jejaring media sosial yang bergerak di dunia maya berfungsi sebagai saluran artikulasi demokrasi. Jujur harus dikatakan, bahwa efektivitas kampanye politik di dunia nyata kalah telak dibandingkan dengan gemuruh kampanye di dunia maya. […] Substansi pendidikan demokrasi itulah yang kemudian dituangkan sebagai suatu bentuk kesadaran ke dalam jejaring media sosial. Inilah sesungguhnya paradigma baru pendidikan demokrasi, yang sepenuhnya berbasis teknologi internet. Inilah sebenarnya cybercracy dalam wujudnya yang jelas dan konkret, serta bisa dituai hasilnya dengan segera.

The political survey agencies overlooked the importance of social networks which now work as medium for education in a democracy. The fact is that through social networks, political aspirations are not only publicized but they also include increasingly sharp opinion of the public, even sharper than the views which appear in traditional media. Online social networks are used to articulate democracy. Frankly speaking, the effectiveness of real-life campaigns are knocked out by online campaigns. […] The substantial awareness of education in democracy is integrated into social media. This is truly a new paradigm in terms of Internet based democratic education. This cybercracy has clear and concrete appearance, and its results are immediate.

Many Indonesian Facebook users observed the electoral process enthusiastically. Here are their opinions:

Mohammad Zahky Mubaroh: Seharusnya kita bersyukur bisa ada sosok seperti Foke, biar kita diperlihatkan bahwa Hati Nurani itu masih memegang andil di dalam sistem Demokrasi yang selama ini cenderung menghalalkan segala cara termasuk Money Politic…Simpan uangmu Foke untuk tabunganmu di hari tua….

Mohammad Zahky Mubaroh: We should be thankful there's someone like Foke (Fauzi), so we can see that conscience still has an influence in our democratic system, which all these years have been permitting everything including money politics.. Keep your money Foke as your retirement savings.

Johannes Silentio: Tiba-tiba, untuk pertamakalinya saya bangga jadi warga DKI Jakarta. Hari ini kemenangan warga. Semoga putaran 2 tidak jadi kemenangan duit dan sentimen. Primordial!

Johannes Silentio: Suddenly, for the first time, I'm proud being a Jakarta resident. Today marks the victory of the residents. Hopefully the second round won't be the victory of money and (racist) sentiment. Primordial!

Muhamad Zulkarnain Jamaluddin: Saya melihat indonesia lebih berobjektif dalam politik… Di lihat dalam kempen ini, sentimen tidak begitu dimainkan… Ini baru resume yang dikemukakan secara betul dalam *interview kerja* ahli politik…

Muhamad Zulkarnain Jamaluddin: I see that Indonesia is becoming more objective in politics, as seen in this campaign, sentiments are not put at the center. This is truly a résumé that's well presented in a “job interview” of a politician.

Below is the Fauzi Bowo-Nachrowi Ramli (Foke-Nara) campaign ad which appeared in Jakarta cinemas:

Below is a short animation made by Jokowi-Ahok supporters:

Social media platforms such as Twitter indicated rising interest in democratic process throughout the electoral campaign period. The platform was not only used to cheer and jeer the candidates, but was also used to report quick count surveys, share analysis, hopes and even initial reports of vote buying.

The number of Golput (stands for Golongan Putih), the non voters, was still high. In East Jakarta, the number of non voters exceeded those who voted for the winning duo.

Blogger Ajinatha wrote on citizen media platform Kompasiana:

Golput itu merupakan suara kaum kelas menengah, maka kalangan ini jelas lebih cerdas dalam menentukan pilihan. […]

Memilih juru kampanye adalah hal yang juga penting, menempatkan orang-orang yang tidak disukai masyarakat akan menjadi kontraproduktif […]Diatas kertas memang seharusnya Foke_Nara bisa menang diputaran kedua, semua juga tahu dukungan bagi Foke_Nara baik dari segi finansial maupun moral cukuplah besar, tinggal saja bagaimana memenej dukungan ini menjadi sesuatu yang postif.

Golput is the voice of the middle class, making them smarter in making decisions. […] Picking campaigners are important, placing people hated by the people will make campaigns contra-productive. […] On paper, Foke-Nara can win on the second round, we all know that they have a large financial support, now all they need is how to manage this support into something positive.

Following their defeat, Foke-Nara party claimed that its rivals endorsed vote buying [id]. Candidate Nachrowi and his entourage were photographed handing out “gratitude money” [id] to a  group of housewives during  the campaign. The incriminating photos were quickly uploaded into the internet.

Infographic on Jokowi-Foke Social Media influence, image courtesy of

Some  non-voters posted their opinions on Facebook:

Rino Cahyo Nugroho : Sebetulnya gw mau golput di putaran ke 2, tp melihat pengalaman hari ini begitu amburadulnya ngurus KK dan KTP di kelurahan, mk emang bang Foke hrs direshufle…..

Rino Cahyo Nugroho: Actually, I want to stay golput on the second round, but experiencing today how much fuss they were to obtain Family Card and ID card, Foke really need to be reshuffled.

Lucky Ramandita: klo menurut LSI bhwa org yg golput saat ni dlm PILKADA mencapai 40% brrti para Capil itu hanya memperebutkan 60% suara.. itu brrti kuota trbesar adalah golput.. harusnya golput donk yg jd pemimpinya ya..(para golongan putih).. haha #ganti demokrasi…

Lucky Ramandita: According  to LSI survey agency,  40% of the people registering for this gubernatorial election is golput, which means the candidates were fighting 60% of votes. This means golput is the biggest quota holder, hence they should choose a leader


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