Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jokowi vows win on SBY’s home turf

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) presidential candidate Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ended his campaign trail in Pacitan, East Java, the home turf of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party.

In his speech, Jokowi said he was confident that the PDI-P could win significant votes in the area.

The party was targeting to win more than 27 percent of the vote in the Dems’ stronghold, Jokowi said.

“I have a good feeling that we will achieve our target in East Java,” he said.

Last week, Jokowi made a similar pledge in cities in West Java and Banten, the stronghold of the Golkar Party, vowing that the PDI-P would clinch more than 30 percent of the vote.

In his speech, Jokowi toned down his rhetoric, knowing that Pacitan is also Yudhoyono’s hometown.

“This is a form of silaturahmi [friendly visit]. Two weeks ago, Pak SBY visited my hometown of Solo, so why not visit Pacitan in return?” Jokowi said on Monday at Gasibu sports center after speaking to his supporters and party members.

Jokowi kicked off his East Java tour in Malang, East Java, speaking before thousands of supporters in Sukun, Malang regency on Thursday before continuing with his campaign trail to Ngawi, Magetan and Ponorogo.

During his stop in Ngawi, Jokowi visited the former home of Radjiman Widiodiningrat, the founder of Budi Utomo--the first youth organization in the country--and a political mentor to founding father Sukarno.

He also stopped and got out of the car to speak with a number of farmers planting rice seeds in a rice field near Radjiman’s house.

Jokowi squatted and held rice seeds the farmers gave him while asking questions about the rice seeds and harvesting.

Many along the campaign trail said that seeing Jokowi speaking with farmers reminded them of Sukarno, when he once squatted while talking to a farmer named Marhaen, a small-time farmer who inspired his populist ideology of marhaenism.

Also on the campaign trail, PDI-P executives said that the party was in talks with other parties over the possibility of forming a coalition.

The party has confirmed, however, that any coalition would not involve political horse-trading.

PDI-P secretary-general Tjahjo Kumolo said the party did not plan on forming a coalition with too many parties.

“A coalition with too many parties disrupts the administration’s performance. Just look at the current Setgab [joint secretariat]. It just doesn’t work,” Tjahjo told reporters from the party’s latest stop in Malang, East Java, on Monday.

Tjahjo acknowledged that the PDI-P was open to forming a coalition with any party, regardless of their ideologies.

“We have spoken with 10 parties. I have met with Pak Syarif Hasan [of the Democratic Party] and Pak Yusril [Ihza Mahendra of the Crescent Star Party (PBB)],” Tjahjo said, declining to elaborate further.

He also quashed speculation that the party had decided on Jokowi’s running mate.

“We will only talk about the vice presidential nomination after the legislative election,” he said.

Jokowi earlier said that the PDI-P would have to secure a victory in the legislative election before opening up talks on forming a coalition.

“Without control of the legislature, there will be too much political bargaining and too much lobbying. Everything will eventually become about money. We don’t want that, do we?” Jokowi said.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Yudhoyono made an appearance during a rally in Bandung, West Java, during which he boasted about the achievements of his administration.

“Now I want to tell you about seven positive achievements,” Yudhoyono said before detailing a number of projects carried out by his administration, namely the construction of a double-track railway connecting Jakarta and West Java, the Rp 1 trillion road connecting cities in the southern part of West Java and the Jatigede Dam in Sumedang worth Rp 4 trillion.

Sita W. Dewi, The Jakarta Post, Pacitan, East Java | Headlines | Tue, April 01 2014, 9:25 A
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