Anies Baswedan’s alliance with Muhaimin Iskandar stands as a game-changer, bolstering his political strength particularly in the crucial voting regions of Central Java and East Java.
As a formidable player from the National Awakening Party (PKB), Muhaimin’s affiliation with the Change Coalition has proven instrumental in elevating Anies’ chances in Central Java and East Java – key electoral domains.
Political observer Assoc Prof. Dr. TB. Massa Djafar, in a discussion with KBA News, stressed the significance of Muhaimin’s addition to the coalition.
“The incorporation of PKB, led by Muhaimin, is a calculated move, acknowledging the party’s growing influence at a national scale and its consistent upward trajectory in electability,” he said.
Echoing Djafar’s sentiments, Seth Soderborg, an Indonesian political researcher from Harvard University, acclaimed Anies’ move as an astute strategy. Targeting support from influential kiai circles in East Java, Soderborg states,
“Anies has historically faced challenges in East Java. But aligning with Muhaimin offers him a golden opportunity to tap into the kiai votes, which he needs for a triumph in the upcoming elections.”
Recent surveys further validate the coalition’s strategic advantage. Post the Anies-Muhaimin collaboration, Politika Research and Consulting (PRC) revealed a notable rise in Anies’ popularity in East Java, jumping from 14% in April 2023 to 18.3% in September.
Moreover, Kompas Research highlighted PKB’s ascending stature, currently positioned third in electability rankings, surpassing heavyweights like the Golkar Party and the Democratic Party.
This upward momentum for PKB isn’t an anomaly. Founded in 1998, the party has navigated Indonesia’s political terrain with resilience. In its maiden 1999 elections, PKB secured 12.62% of the valid votes, with East Java contributing a whopping 7,034,707 votes.
Over the years, despite fluctuations in support, the 2014 and 2019 elections witnessed PKB securing impressive vote counts, affirming its consistent appeal to the populace.
In this intricate tapestry of alliances and shifting loyalties, the partnership between Anies and Muhaimin emerges as a beacon of promise, potentially reshaping the political contours of Indonesia’s 2024 Presidential race. (kba)