If he becomes president, he could do much more for Jakarta
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Many Indonesians have hailed the presidential candidacy of Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, who has been idolized for his down-to-earth style of governance.

When the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP)s central executive board member Puan Maharani, daughter of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, announced Jokowis candidacy for the presidency on March 14, the main Jakarta stock index rose more than three percent.

Megawati, PDIP general chairperson, stated that she chose Jokowi after she had monitored him and his style of leadership since his time as mayor of Solo, and later governor of Jakarta.

"Why I chose Jokowi to receive the mandate to run for president is because Jokowi is not only popular, but also works hard, is sincere, committed and humble," she explained in her speech at an election campaign rally in Badung, Bali, recently.

Because of these qualities, Jokowi has become well known in various regions in Indonesia. He has become popular not because he has conducted image building, but because of his character, she pointed out.

She added that a leader must also be committed improve the welfare of the people and care about them. She admitted hat she had previously made an inventory of candidates, but could not find the right one before the "skinny" (referring to Jokowi) emerged.

Meanwhile, Jokowi, the current Jakarta governor, affirmed that he relied on people support rather than on the strength of money during the campaign in the run up to the presidential election on July 9.

"The people want a change, therefore, "I choose to come to the people rather than spending a lot of money campaigning," Jokowi stated.

He clarified that he was aware that a president will have heavy tasks and formidable challenges to face. "That was why I did not celebrate and was not entirely happy when named a presidential candidate," he explained.

But, not all Indonesians agree with the idea of Jokowi running for president in the upcoming elections this year, before finishing his term as the Jakarta governor.

A group of advocates, who supported Jokowi and his deputy, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, during the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election, has decided to file a lawsuit with the Central Jakarta District Court against Jokowi for leaving his current post to contest the upcoming presidential election.

The lawyers urged Jokowi to give up his presidential nomination and fulfill his promise to complete his five-year term in the capital.

Ade Dwi Kurnia, one of the lawyers, argued that if he became president, he would abandon his duty as governor and fail to keep the promises he had made to solve the capitals acute problems such as traffic congestion and floods.

Jokowi refused to comment when asked about the lawsuit and criticism of his presidential nomination. "Its OK in a democracy. Pros and cons are normal things in a democratic country," he was quoted to have stated, by the Jakarta Post.

Coordinator of the New Jakarta Community Coalition (KM-JB) Ahmad Yusuf urged Jokowi to do something good first for Jakarta before nominating himself as a president.

"We consider that over the past two years, Jokowi has done nothing besides continuing with the blue print of the previous governor such as MRT and Jakarta flood canals," he asserted.

Jokowi should try to improve the welfare of the Jakarta people and deal with the capitals serious problems such as floods and traffic jams, he explained, urging Jokowi not to betray the Jakarta people who had given him their trust by electing him in the gubernatorial election 2012.

He suspected that Jokowi realized that that the capital citys problems were too difficult to handle and he could not bear them.

Citing the existing laws, Horas AM Naiborhu, a Jakarta resident, also demanded that Jokowi must abandon his bid for the presidency in the coming election.

"Governor Jokowi must serve out his term of office until 2017 according to his official oath taken before representatives of the Jakarta people and God Almighty," he said.

In line with the law, governors and vice governors are elected for five-year terms of office beginning from their inaugurations. Governor Jokowi took office on October 15, 2012 and his term office will end in October 2017, based upon Law No. 32/2004 on Regional Government. "Under article 110 sub-article 3 of Law No. 32/2004 Jokowi must drop his bid for presidency," he pointed out.

"But if Jokowi ignores the legal grievance and goes ahead with his presidential candidacy, I will file a lawsuit against him," Horas warned.

Meanwhile, the Urban Planning observer Yayat Supriatna remarked that Jokowi had not yet proven that he could resolve the urban problems of Jakartas residents.

"He should resolve the problems of Jakarta first before involving himself in politics," he stated.

The programs for Jakartas development, initiated by the Jokowi-Ahok (Basuki Tjahaya Purnama) team, have been rolled out for some two years now. The Mass Rapid Transit, monorail and 15 Busyway corridor projects still have no fixed dates for completion.

A similar view was voiced by Chief of Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI) Executive Board Syarafudin Arsyad, saying that the accomplishments of Jokowi have not been put to a real test.

"The accomplishments of Jokowi have not been put to the test, particularly in Jakarta. We dont know what he has done, in real terms," Arsyad noted, adding that he has not even been able to create a revolutionary policy that can change the capital for the better in a relatively short time.

Another politician, Andi Nurpati of the ruling Democratic Party, also confirmed that Jokowi has not shown any achievement so far as the Jakarta Governor.

Former vice president M Jusuf Kalla, however, defended Jokowis presidential candidacy, saying that "By becoming president does not mean that he would abandon Jakarta."

In fact, being a president, Jokowi would become more efficient in dealing with the capital citys problems particularly by prioritizing the provision of infrastructure and transportation, Kalla pointed out.

He believed that the problems in Jakarta could be resolved only with the support and assistance of the central government. "If he becomes president, he could do much more for Jakarta," Kalla clarified.

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Ella Syafputri
Copyright © ANTARA 2014