Monday, March 24, 2014

JK, Jokowi most qualified candidates


A survey has revealed that former vice president and Golkar Party politician Jusuf Kalla is the most qualified candidate for the upcoming presidential election, even beating Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

The survey, conducted by Jakarta-based pollster Pol-Tracking Institute between Feb. 3 and March 10, asked 330 university professors in the country to rank the personal qualities of 35 presidential hopefuls based on seven aspects on a scale of 1 to 10.

Kalla, according to the survey, scored the highest in five aspects: vision and ideas, leadership and decisiveness, competence and capability, leadership experience and achievement, and ability to lead a government coalition.

Jokowi, meanwhile, secured a lead in only two aspects: integrity and ability to lead state and government.

Former Constitutional Court chairman Mahfud MD came third in each of the evaluated aspects.

Overall, the survey ranked Kalla as the most qualified presidential candidate with an average score of 7.70, followed by Jokowi with 7.66, and Mahfud with 7.55.

Hanura Party chairman Wiranto and Gerindra Party chief patron Prabowo Subianto came in fourth and fifth position with an average score of 7.09 and 7.08, respectively.

The above five politicians were the only ones to score higher than 7. Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Anis Matta, National Awakening Party (PKB) chairman Muhaimin Iskandar and Regional Representatives Council (DPD) chairman Irman Gusman all had scores lower than 6.

Pol-Tracking executive director Hanta Yuda said the survey could provide voters with a new perspective on how to see political candidates.

“Most [election] polls have focused on measuring the popularity or electability of presidential hopefuls and paid very little attention to their personal capacity, capability and quality,” he said.

Hanta said university professors from various knowledge disciplines had been asked to participate in the survey given their extensive grasp of the country’s politics.

According to Education and Culture Ministry data, in 2010 the country had 4,717 professors out of 197,922 university lecturers employed by 83 state universities and more than 3,000 private institutions.

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician Maruarar Sirait said that based on findings in the survey, Jokowi, the party’s presidential candidate, could learn much from Kalla if he were elected president.

“The survey is a reminder for the public that Mas Jokowi, despite his popularity, is only human and, of course, has some flaws,” he said.

Maruarar, however, declined to comment on whether the PDI-P had plans to pair Jokowi with Kalla in the presidential election.

“The decision [to pick a vice presidential candidate] would largely depend on discussions between Mbak Mega [Megawati Soekarnoputri, PDI-P chairwoman] and Mas Jokowi,” he said, adding that the PDI-P was planning to reveal Jokowi’s running mate after the April 9 legislative election.

Golkar’s head of research and development, Indra Jaya Piliang, said that Kalla’s popularity would not have an impact on the presidential bid of Golkar chairman Aburizal Bakrie, who only scored 6.70 and finished in 10th place in the survey.

“As of today, Golkar has no intention of evaluating the presidential nomination of Pak Aburizal,” he said.

The survey, however, only assessed politicians eligible to run in the election and not those implicated in graft cases.

Given the limitations, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Democratic Party (PD) chairman, who is banned from running for a third term, and former PD chairman Anas Urbaningrum, who was recently named a graft suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), were dropped from the list.

The Pol-Tracking survey also found that of the 11 participants of the ongoing PD presidential convention, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan had the highest score of 6.97.

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