News Focus - Jokowi gains support from across Indonesia

News Focus - Jokowi gains support from across Indonesia

Incumbent President Joko Widodo gained support for his reelection in next year's presidential race with supporters including from Provinces of Aceh and West Sumatra.

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - Incumbent President Joko Widodo has gained support for his reelection in next year`s presidential race not merely from his coalition parties but also from various elements in the Indonesian society in different parts of the country.

The support for his official presidential candidacy has earlier been shown by the leaders of the People`s Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), Golkar Party, National Awakening Party (PKB), Muslim-based United Development Party (PPP), National Democrat Party (Nasdem), and the People`s Conscience Party (Hanura).

Meanwhile, the support of grassroots comes from community members, including young students of the Islamic boarding schools or "santri" in various cities. The santri in the provinces of Aceh and West Sumatra, for instance, have openly declared their support this week.

Gathered at the Aceh Community Center in Sultan II Selim Building in Banda Aceh on Thursday, several hundreds of the young santri had expressed support for President`s Joko Widodo`s reelection and recommended that he himself choose his running mate.

According to Young Acehnese Santri`s Friendship Forum (FSSMA) Coordinator Haekal Afifa, supporting a presidential candidate was a common practice in real politics. He further argued that it was important to show their clear stance to enable democracy to meet its meaning.

The declaration of support was also part of what he called "political dialectics" ahead of Indonesia`s fiesta of democracy. Therefore, giving Joko Widodo full rein to select his running mate is a necessity because it will help him execute his working programs if he wins the presidential race again.

"It is extremely important that no one intervenes with Jokowi politically," he shared. "This is necessary so that in the future, he can execute his working programs very well."

In addition to the one held in Aceh, several pro-Jokowi declarations were also organized in other cities across Indonesia. In Padang, the capital city of West Sumatra Province, hundreds of students from Islamic boarding schools also declared their support for the sitting president.

The students, who belong to an organization called the West Sumatran Santri Forum or "Formasi," urged the president to remain committed to building Indonesia as a religious nation.

In Cianjur, West Java, a few hundred local residents launched what they called the "#J2P National Movement" on Wednesday, August 1, at the Gelar Islamic Boarding School in Peuteuycondong Village, Cibeber Subdistrict.

The movement`s spokesperson, Anton Charliyan, said #J2P was organized to accommodate the aspirations of various elements in society, taking into consideration Joko Widodo`s successful leadership, which has resulted in domestic and international recognition of Indonesia`s development.

The same support for Joko Widodo, commonly known as Jokowi, has also been echoed by several hundreds of volunteers of an organization called "Our Future" (MDK) in Sukabumi, another city in West Java, which has been the stronghold of the Prabowo Subianto camp.

However, they did not just show their support froM Jokowi for being reelected in next year`s presidential election but they also nominated retired General Moeldoko as his running mate.

"Jokowi and Moeldoko are a pair of ideal figures for leading this nation, considering their proven leadership experiences. Appointing Moeldoko as Jokowi`s running mate will strengthen the incumbent president`s electability," MDK Chairman Gunawan Saputra said on the sidelines of the declaration, held on July 30.

Their support for Jokowi`s reelection was closely related to his capability in leading Indonesia, as seen from the infrastructure development projects being carried out in various parts of the country.

The residents of Sukabumi District, Saputra said, are among those enjoying the benefits of the current government`s infrastructure development programs.

They could observe for themselves the accelerated construction of the Bogor-Ciawi-Sukabumi toll road project; completion of double railway tracks connecting Sukabumi and Bogor city; and planned construction of Sukabumi airport, he revealed.

In connection with his running mate, Jokowi has been given by the five coalition party leaders the freedom to pick up the most potential vice presidential candidate.

In his recent statement, General Chairman of the People`s Conscience Party (Hanura), Oesman Sapta Odang, noted that Widodo would announce his running mate in early August.

Local media reports recently revealed that PPP General Chairman Muhammad Romahurmuziy, Golkar Party Chairman Airlangga Hartarto, and PKB General Chairman Muhaimin Iskandar were among the potential running mates of Widodo.

Several other names frequently cited by local media were former Indonesian Military Chief Moeldoko and Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani, who is also the daughter of PDIP leader Megawati Soekarnoputri, among others.

Despite the massive support for Jokowi`s reelection bid, there are still groups that endorse the #2019GantiPresident (#2019ChangePresident) movement in different parts of the country, such as Medan, North Sumatra, and Batam in the Riau Islands Province.

Chief Patron of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Prabowo Subianto has so far been seen as the only figure, whose name has officially been supported by the leaders of his coalition parties, including the Muslim-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and National Mandate Party (PAN).

He has also won the Democratic Party leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono`s official support for becoming the coalition parties` presidential candidate In the 2014 Presidential Election, the Democratic Party did not coalesce with Gerindra, PKS, and PAN.

Along with its coalition parties, the Subianto camp has been attempting to look for a credible figure to be the vice presidential candidate.

Local mainstream media have frequently mentioned several names of figures who could possibly become Subianto`s most potential running mates. They are, among others, well-respected preacher Abdul Somad Batubara, PKS` executive Salim Segaf al-Jufri, and Yudhoyono`s eldest son Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono.

Subianto may again become Jokowi`s toughest rival in the 2019 presidential race. Apart from these two figures` tough competition to win the presidential seat in April 2019, the projokowi and prosubianto or prochangepresident camps should be able to maintain peace and national unity in the country.