IO, Jakarta – The Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”) has decided that Simultaneous 2020 Regional Elections will be held on 23 September 2020. A total of 270 regencies, municipalities, and provinces are preparing for their five-yearly effort to elect Regional Heads and Deputy Heads. It is no wonder that political parties are heating up their political engines en masse. Some even setting a target of victory in this big political and democratic event of our country.
Vice General Chairman of Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Ahmad Doli Kurnia stated that his Party aims to secure 60% of the votes in the 2020 Regional Elections. “Tell you what. In the Regional Elections, we in Golkar have the intention to win in all Regional Elections, the same as other political parties,” he said in the Parliamentary Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, on Wednesday (22/01/2020).
Golkar hopes that their Regional Head Candidate cadre would secure victory. To be more precise, it wants a “true victory” where many Golkar cadres get elected as Regional Heads in various regions. However, Doli admits that Golkar cannot endorse their cadres as governors, mayors, and regents in several regions. “No matter what, electability across regions will be relative. Sometimes Golkar would not be able to endorse its own candidates; we need to cooperate and pair our cadres with those of other parties.
There are three grades of electoral success: the first is when we submit our cadres and they win as governors, mayors, regents,” he said. “The second grade is when we put up our cadres and they win as vice governors, vice regents, vice mayors. The third grade is to submit the cadres of other parties that can collaborate well with the Golkar Party.”
Therefore, Doli stated that in order to obtain a perfect victory in the 2020 Regional Elections, Golkar will maintain communications with other political parties, up to and including forming a coalition with them. “Briefly, we need to communicate, or even set a coalition with, other political parties to do that. Even though we might still get in on our own in certain areas, we would still need to collaborate with them,” he said.
Daily Chairman of Golkar Central Java Iqbal Wibisono confirms that they have been instructed to approach other parties. “We work with other parties so that they will support our candidates,” he stated without specifying which parties have been approached. “We target a victory level of 60% in 21 Regencies or Municipalities in Central Java. Only in the town of Pekalongan will we submit our own candidate as we win there every time. As for the rest, we must really set up a coalition with other parties.”
Apart from the Central Java Chapter, Golkar Bali is also optimistic that they will take Regional Elections in Golkar’s top three regions: Karangasem, Bangli, and Jembrana, even though if they must form a coalition to achieve it. As the Electoral Effort Board (Badan Pemenangan Pemilu – “Bappilu”) of Golkar Bali’s Regional Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Daerah – “DPD”) I, I G. K. Kresna Budi, said, Karangasem has the full attention of his party. His obsession is to repeat Golkar’s glory in the previous term. “If possible, we target three areas: Karangasem, Bangli, and Jembrana. We might even consider targeting Denpasar. No matter what, we will fight,” he said on Monday (20/01/2020).
The Secretary of Golkar South Sumatra’s DPD I (Regional Executive Board), Herpanto, stated something along the same lines. He believes that Golkar will win in seven regencies in South Sumatra during the upcoming simultaneous Regional Elections in September. “We have satisfied administrative requirements for the Candidate Regional Heads registering through Golkar. There is an average of five Regent and Vice Regent Candidate Pairs for each region, except in the Regency of South Ogan Komering Ulu, which will only have one Candidate Pair,” he said on Friday (17/01/2020).
Apart from Golkar, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”) also aims for 60% votes in 2020 Regional Elections. The target was set according to the resolution of the PDIP Congress as announced by PDIP’s General Chairwoman Megawati in her directives during the PDIP National Work Meeting I on Friday (09/01/2020).
PDIP’s General Secretary Hasto Kristiyanto confirmed this target. “We noted that this is in line with the political dynamics, political mapping, and the entirety of the process. The important thing for us is not the target, but Regional Elections represent the perfect momentum to consolidate the Party. We have mapped major cities like Solo and Medan, and we will announce the details later,” he said amid the National Work Meeting I and PDIP’s 47th Anniversary held in JIEXPO Kemayoran on Sunday (12/01/2020).
Hasto further stated that all candidates supported by PDIP must participate in the Party’s School. This is necessary, as the candidates must understand and be able to implement the Party’s vision and mission. “This way, candidates can take the independent path set by the Party and strive properly,” he said.
Hasto stated that his Party has opened the door for Indonesia’s younger generation to join, especially since there have been many young leaders from the Party who have succeeded. However, all recommended candidates will be announced at a later date by PDIP’s General Chairwoman, Megawati Sukarnoputri herself. “This National Work Meeting was initially planned to recommend some 44 Candidates. However, many PDIP Regional Heads are still involved in disaster response. Therefore, we decided to delay the announcement until a more appropriate time,” he said.
Separately, PDIP’s Vice General Secretary Arif Wibowo stated that PDIP is capable of submitting its own Candidate Pairs in 85 regions, comprising 82 regencies/municipalities and 3 provinces. In many regions, the Party also lacks the required one or two seats in order to allow them to submit a Candidate Pair instead of a single Candidate. As for coalition with other parties, Arif stated that PDIP will prioritize the support of their own cadres. Of the target victory of 60%, at least half of this must be won by PDIP cadres.
When determining coalition Candidate Pairs for 2020 Regional Elections, Arief stated that Mega has requested everyone to think things through thoroughly. “She said that the Candidates must win both the people and the Party,” he said. “This (victory in Regional Elections) is a mandatory target for all cadres. It will be the basis of our victory in 2024 (the next Presidential Elections).”
Arief further stated that the Party continues to rely on Bali and Central Java as their Regional Elections winning region in 2020. PDIP will continue to prioritize certain cadres that satisfy specific requirements for the Regional Elections. “There are a lot of candidates. Naturally, as we have been winning both the Legislative and Presidential Elections, especially the Legislative one. Areas like Bali and Central Java are our primary bases, where we have a large potential for victory,” he said.
Chairman of DPC PDIP Denpasar, I Gusti Ngurah Gede, admits that the Party’s engines must work extra hard in order to win, even though PDIP is currently the major party in Denpasar’s Legislative. “According to the results of the 2019 Elections, PDIP only got 48% of votes. That’s not even 50%. Therefore, we expect that our cadres will still have to work hard. Whether we are ready or not to face the Regional Elections, it is all based on the results of the past Elections,” he said.
Other than the results of the previous Elections, the electability of each candidate also determines victory. “Therefore, we don’t want to be cocky and set the percentage of our victory beforehand. One thing for sure: I repeat that all cadres must work hard. We need to evaluate our weak points,” Ngurah Gede said.
According to Chairman of PDIP West Java’s DPD Ono Surono, other than Bali, three regions in the Province of West Java are part of the 44 regions where PDIP holds an advantage in the 2020 Regional Elections: the Regencies of Pangandaran, Tasikmalaya, and Cianjur.
He stated that PDIP is practically guaranteed victory in these areas, especially since the supported cadres are the incumbent officials there. Pangandaran, for example, has Jeje Wiradinata as its incumbent Regent. In Tasikmalaya, there is Ade Sugiarto, who replaced the previous regent, Uu Ruzhanul Ulum. Finally, there is Herman Suherman in Cianjur who replaced the previous regent, Irvan Rivano Muchtar, who was involved in a corruption case. “At least we have the incumbent regents in these areas from among our cadres, and we are developing other cadres in Cianjur as well,” he said in the Parliamentary Complex in Senayan on Monday (13/01/2020).
University of Indonesia (UI)’s expert in political psychology, Hamdi Muluk, said that so long as both Golkar and PDIP submitted good Regional Head Candidates, their target of winning 60% Regional Elections votes throughout Indonesia is actually realistic. As major parties with a practically thorough coverage of political influence throughout Indonesia, it would not be too difficult for them to achieve the target. The question is, “Are Golkar and PDIP able to submit good candidates in all Regional Elections?” After all, voters look more towards the individual than the Party in Regional Elections. The victory of any party in Regional Elections depend on who they submit as candidates. (Dan)