University of Indonesia (UI) political communication expert Effendi Ghazali said on Monday that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s (SBY) statement about Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at a press briefing held by the Presidential Press Bureau and aired on YouTube could backfire.
He said the statement was part of Yudhoyono’s effort to sway public perception ahead of the legislative election on April 9. Such a move, however, would not be successful because it would invariably backfire on the President himself, he said.
“The criticism [in the statement] is only 20 percent accurate. It’s no big deal. People could instead lash out against Pak SBY again,” said Effendi as quoted by kompas.com.
The expert said the momentum during which SBY had chosen to make a statement about Jokowi ahead of the legislative poll was actually fitting.
Yudhoyono, he further said, wanted people to remember what he said and hoped that his statement could influence people in the election.
“He said, for instance, that ‘Jokowi should not let anyone dictate to him, whereas we all know that Pak SBY himself has a lot of “whisperers” around him. Such a reality is very different to claims Pak SBY often makes about never being dictated to by anybody,” said Effendi.
He also highlighted Yudhoyono’s warning that Jokowi should not yield to foreign pressure.
“It is the people themselves who can evaluate objectively. It seems it will be very difficult for the President or any other officials from the Democratic Party to talk because people's reluctance toward the party is far greater. So whatever is said talk about Jokowi, people will not be interested,” said Effendi. (ebf)