Observers: Despite low electability, PDIP will continue to support Puan Maharani

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Puan Maharani.
Puan Maharani. Photo: RAYI GIGIH/IO

IO – Speaker of the House Puan Maharani has been consistently perched on the lowest rank on surveys of presidential candidates. What causes it? 

Executive Director of Political Research & Consulting Rio Prayogo revealed that in a previous public opinion survey, Puan was placed last. In the Opinion Leader survey, Puan did not receive high points from the national figures because of her lack of opinion on national issues. “The Opinion Leader did not find Puan to have addressed national issues from her point of view or when talking to the media. Thus, she was seen as less capable than the other candidates,” answered Rio to a question at the release of the Key Opinion Leader survey on the 2024 presidential candidate profile, Jakarta, Sunday (3/6/2022). 

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Indonesian Political Parameters (PPI) Adi Prayitno explained that the 11 figures in the survey also showed a fluctuation. Still, Puan Maharani was the only one consistently placed at the bottom. He opined that this was because Puan tends to be rigid, and her comments were always of her capacity as the House Speaker. “Compared to the other ten candidates, she did not display a personality that is out of the box, that is not related to her position as a public official. Sandi often plays basketball, Ganjar cycles to greet people, Anies hangs out with Ridwan Kamil. Those depict out-of-the-box personalities that influence opinion leaders in giving their opinions,” he said. 

Adi further said that Puan had set the stage with her political activities as a roadmap towards the long road of the 2024 election. Her exposure, however, was not as prominent as the other ten candidates, so the public could not fully understand what she had conveyed and done as the House Speaker. 

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) politician Hendrawan Supratikno responded that survey results were not the only consideration in nominating a presidential candidate. He added that the presidential candidate from the executive would benefit more than those in the legislative because legislative work did not get much public exposure. 

Electability surveys are mostly informative only to know who will be nominated as the next future leader. Hendrawan said Puan did not prioritize boosting her electability, but she monitored the development of various surveys. 

PDIP Secretary-General Hasto Kristiyanto also commented on Puan Maharani’s low electability according to several surveys of the 2024 presidential candidates. He did not see the low electability as a problem because the same situation also occurred to President Joko Widodo during his contestation for Jakarta’s gubernatorial election in 2012. 

Hasto said the figure of a presidential candidate is not only seen from the high electability but also the quality of his/her leadership. 

Political observer from Indonesian Al-Azhar University Ujang Komarudin believes that Puan, as the daughter of PDIP general Chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri, will be fully supported to run for the 2024 presidential election. “For PDIP, Puan’s candidacy is non-negotiable. Despite the low electability, PDIP will support her,” said Ujang, Monday (3/7/2022). 

Ujang explained that Puan’s low electability might be due to her position as the House Speaker. “The low electability is probably because many of Puan’s policies as Speaker of the House echoed the Government. Yet those policies were disadvantageous and rejected by the people, such as the revision of the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission) Law, the ratification of the Job Creation Law and others,” he said. 

In terms of Puan’s rigid and outdated demeanor, Ujang believes it might be her nature, but it can be improved and refined. (des)