With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, the Anies – Muhaimin Iskandar pairing presents intriguing prospects for East Java. Amidst challenges posed by misleading narratives and party alignments, how does their candidacy resonate in the province?
The political landscape of East Java, a region where Anies faced severe scrutiny due to widespread misinformation, now becomes central to discussions.
Accusations of intolerance, identity politics, and slander have been directed towards Anies. However, these narratives are gradually being countered with factual evidence from his time as Jakarta’s leader.
East Java, recognized as the base of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), poses a challenge for Anies given his image as a representative of modern Islamic urban groups. However, the addition of Muhaimin Iskandar, PKB’s General Chair, to the ticket augments their appeal in the region. Muhaimin, affectionately known as Cak Imin, undeniably carries the support of NU’s influential figures in East Java.
The 2019 election data shows promising numbers for the Anies – Muhaimin duo. Parties supporting them, including Nasdem, PKB, and PKS, collectively garnered 8,254,768 votes, translating to 33.8% of East Java’s valid votes.
With the current Permanent Voter Lists (DPT) for the 2024 election standing at 31,402,838, there’s a noticeable 1.3% increase since 2019, reflecting enhanced public engagement in the democratic process.
Assuming a 9% abstention rate in 2024, we estimate around 28,576,582 votes to be in play. Historical data from the 2019 election positions the Jokowi – Makruf Amien duo receiving 65.79% of the votes, while the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pair received 34.21%. However, present-day political dynamics will lead to a redistribution of these percentages, especially with shifting party supports.
The emergence of new political entities, like the Ummat party, and potential coalition shifts can further tilt the scales. For instance, the Ummat Party’s support for Anies and Muhaimin, coupled with the PKS votes and endorsements from various community groups, can amplify their traction in the region.
East Java’s socioeconomic issues, such as the Wadas case, rising fuel and food prices, and challenges in employment, paired with increasing support from diverse religious groups, can solidify the Anies – Muhaimin pair’s foothold. Based on current sentiment, they might secure anywhere from 25% to potentially 40% of East Java’s votes in the first round.
To counter unfounded accusations and reinforce the trust earned during Anies’ tenure in Jakarta, the coalition’s strategies must resonate deeply with the electorate.
As the race tightens, it will be the authentic, community-centric outreach by supporters, volunteers, and the coalition at large that will determine the duo’s success in East Java.
It remains paramount for the coalition to effectively communicate transformative ideas and policies that resonate with both urban and rural communities.
* Isa Ansori, Academic, Columnist