Jakarta elections signal tensions for 2019 Presidential battle

Jakarta elections signal tensions for 2019 Presidential battle


Sam Deave, Corporate Services Manager

Jakarta polls closed this morning for the second and final round of governor elections.

There has been a tense standoff between the incumbent, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama ‘Ahok’, the first Christian Governor of Jakarta and Jokowi backed, and opposition, Anies Baswedan, Subianto supported Muslim candidate. Over the past couple of weeks it has been a contentiously religious-based battle between the two.

It has been described by the Jakarta Post as ‘the dirtiest, most polarizing and most divisive’ election campaign the nation has ever seen. But this is just the warm up act before the headline event.

The Jakarta elections are not just city elections, but the first step in signifying the next presidential result.

Prabowo Subianto, Anies backer, is a conservative retired general, who lost to Jokowi in the 2014 presidential vote and may rise to challenge him again in 2019.

The polls suggest not only that Ahok is in trouble, but that the current Jokowi administration could also be.

Efforts will be ramped up by the current government. Currently Jokowi is expected to stand again, though rumours suggest not with his current Vice President, Jusuf Kalla, and instead perhaps with current Finance Minister and former IMF and World Banker, Sri Mulyani.