National politicians such as Prabowo Subianto, Surya Paloh and Jusuf Kalla have not yet reached the level of influence that Megawati has got.
By: Haz Pohan, Chief Editor KBA News
ATEST Indonesian Political Opinion Survey (IPO) report issued on Friday (3/12) has shaken public opinion about the chances of the candidates who will compete in the 2024 Presidential Election.
First, the survey shows that the electability of the Governor of Jakarta, Mr. Anies Baswedan, has overtaken the primacy position with a figure of 21.3 percent.
The electability level of Anies Baswedan is increasingly leaving the names of Mr. Prabowo Subianto and Mr. Ganjar Pranowo. These three names have for months dominated the presidential potentials in the 2024 presidential election. Mr. Prabowo and Mr. Ganjar are in fifth (8.4%) and third (11.6%), respectively.
Second, Prabowo is far left behind, along with another Gerindra’s politician, Mr, Sandiaga Uno’s skyrocketing chance to the second position, with an electability rate of 13.8 percent. It appears that the preferences of voters and Gerindra party supporters have shifted from Prabowo to the young figure, Mr. Sandiaga Uno.
Third, various previous surveys place the Governor of Central Java, Mr. Ganjar Pranowo, as the pre-eminent presidential candidate, are of artificial and fictitious. In the IPO survey, realistically, Ganjar is in the 3rd position with 11.6 percent electability. Ganjar may work well in Cental Java as a regional politician, still has to work extra hard in West Java, Banten and DKI and various provinces outside Java, namely in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua. These are not easy fields for him.
Fourth, surprisingly the chairman of the Democratic Party, Mr. Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY), is ahead of Prabowo with an electability of 10.2 percent.
The IPO survey is seen as credible, as one of only few members of the Indonesian Public Opinion Survey Association (Persepi) who work transparently, including in the sources of funds, methodology, and samplings.
In fact, in the last week the Institute for Public Policy Survey and Analysis (LANSKAP) –not a member of Persepsi– announced Mr. Prabowo Subianto’s triumph in the top spot, far behind Anies and Ganjar. Many doubt the transparency of this survey.
In political language, people often refer to the term ‘kingmaker’ for a figure who can bring someone to power by using his or her political influence. Two figures in contemporary politics in this class are Megawati Soekarnoputri, and in the past, Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Both are former presidents.
And at a lower level, the name Prabowo Subianto who successfully brought Jokowi to power as Governor of DKI and President in the first term, Ahok as vice-governor as Jokowi-s running mate, and even Anies to the seats of Governor of DKI Jakarta in the 2019 election.
Sometimes a character only reaches the title of ‘teacher of the nation’ (wise man) such as Gus Dur, Nurcholish Madjid, and Yusuf Kalla. Political influence is less, but their voices are heard.
In the context of this article – assessing the chances taking of influential national figures to determine who will stand the best choice for president to replace Jokowi after stepping down, it seems that Ms. Megawati is the only one who meets the qualification of ‘a kingmaker’ because she has successfully catapulted Jokowi’s name in two terms of the presidency, and the PDI-P’s control over the largest number of seats in the House of Representatives in the 2014 and 2019 elections.
National politicians such as Prabowo Subianto, Surya Paloh and Jusuf Kalla have not yet reached the level of influence that Megawati has got, even though the votes for their parties –Gerindra, Golkar, and NasDem respectively– are significant.
Megawati with control of more than 20% of the seats in the House, and her party PDI-P, has the ability to nominate their own pair of presidential and vice presidential candidates in the 2024 presidential election, such as the Democratic Party in SBY’s re-election in 2014.
It will be different if we consider other factors, in the issues of (1) the availability of PDI-P cadres, figures with high electability to be nominated. So far, the names of Ms. Puan Maharani and Mr. Ganjar Pranowo are the front-runners in this regard. However, both of them are still not strong enough to attract the electorates, (2) in what position would PDI-P designate its figures: whether in the position of presidential candidate or vice president.
Then the discourse emerges that the PDI-P would take figures outside the party to be accompanied with Ms. Puan Maharani, in the perspective of the Soekarno breed, the party would or hand over the baton of party ‘s choice to the non-breed of Mr. Ganjar Pranomo, or accompany Puan with outside party figures who have the highest electability.
Collaborating with outside PDI-P figures who have the highest electability means to refer other names: Mr. Anies Baswedan, Mr. Prabowo Subianto, Mr. Ridwan Kamil, and Mr. AHY.
Choosing cadres and accompanying them with figures outside the PDI-P to be combined into a with Ms. Puan to guarantee victory in the 2021 presidential election is an not easy undertaking.
Because of its complexity and its relationship to various aspects, both internal to the party and ideologically, it would be not an easy decision.
Simulations must be made and decision making should not take long from now. Why?
First, in the context of the 2024 presidential election, the owners of the most votes in the House who have the potential to increase of votes according to PT 20%, are respectively PDIP-P, Gerindra, Golkar, NasDem, Democrat, and PKS.
Puan’s name as a presidential candidate has not convinced the electorate, so candidates outside the PDI-P have the potential to become presidential candidates, and Puan is only a companion.
With the selection of other candidates outside of the PDI-P combined with the name of Puan would become interesting and realistic if the PDI-P wishes to maintain its leading position in the forthcoming 2024 general election.
Second, on Mr. Prabowo Subianto’s chances. Attempts to jack up this ‘submerged trunk’ (membangkitkan batang terendam) are very difficult. In fact, it is difficult for Prabowo to maintain the votes he got in the 2019 presidential election. Since he joined the Jokowi government coalition, the former militant followers: Muslim and Alumni 212 along with ulama, even mothers are expected to no longer appear in his sides in the 2024 presidential election.
They are disappointed with Prabowo’s performance in the last 2 years, would make them to find other potential candidates that match their expectation. The new candidate is none other than Mr. Anies Baswedan, the current incumbent governor of Jakarta, is a reasonable choice.
If Prabowo realizes a new reality that is not in his favor, then his choice is to become a ‘king-maker’ is to support Mr. Anies Baswedan, pairing with his party cadre Mr. Sandiaga Uno, who is still in the rank and file of the Gerindra party.
Prabowo has a strong influence here. If you refer to the last IPO survey, even Sandiaga Uno’s name has now skyrocketed, leaving Prabowo’s name far behind.
The IPO survey concluded that selling the Prabowo-Puan pair to implement the PDI-P and Gerindra agreement in Batu Tulis, is far away from political realities.
So, option for Prabowo to partner Mr. Anies Baswedan and Mr. Sandiaga Uno is an attractive choice for electorates, and the name of Gerindra party would still be considered in the future because of the ‘coattail effect’.
Don’t forget, Mrl Anies Baswedan is also the candidate supported by Prabowo in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election. Prabowo is credited with catapulting Anies Baswedan’s name and is therefore entitled to the credits generated by Anies Baswedan’s superb performance in Jakarta which increasingly sparkles in the eyes of the electorates. The IPO survey put Anies’ electability at 21%, and Sandiaga was the runner-up with a figure of around 13 percent.
If Prabowo finally agrees to present the Anies-Sandiaga candidate, then this will be a repeat of the 2017 Gubernatorial Election. Mr. Sandiaga, beside Minister Jokowi, is a successful businessman. Together with Prabowo, Sandiaga could guarantee that the pair campaign funds are adequate. Don’t forget, the availability of large political funds is the key in the 2024 presidential election.
It is clear. If PDI-P is late to act, Gerindra will seize Anies. At the corner of the block, Mr. Surya Paloh, chairman of NasDem, known for his preference to Anies lately, is waiting for ‘windfall fortune’.
Third, what is the chance of Mr. Airlangga Hartarto from Golkar? It must be admitted, Airlangga who started his political clout not long age is a businessman with non-party background would not sell well. His electability is stagnant, even decreasing.
The best option for Golkar is to partner Airlangga with the PDI-P or with Gerindra candidate. Golkar still has to work extra hard if still opting to slate Airlangga’s name. But, this would not fly, amid the emergence of other good and credible names to appear in the 2024 presidential ballot.
So, Gokar’s best option is to form a coalition with the winners of the 2024 elections and support those parties. This would secure its position in the government with cabinet minister seats in the or leader of the House, Senate or Assembly.
Fourth, what about AHY and the Democratic Party?
With the achievement of 7% of the vote in the House, even below Nasdem and PKS, it is difficult for Democrats to say much in the 2024 presidential election.
The only ‘trade’ of the Democrats is non other than the name of its chairman, Mr. AHY. As the head of the political parties, he is the best candidate. Chairwoman Megawati is no longer a candidate because of her age. Prabowo is also 70 years old, leaving his militant supporters in disarray in 2017. His three times failure in the previous presidential election left him and his party cadres a deep stigma.
Here AHY becomes an interesting choice. At 43 years old, charismatic, intelligent, well-versed in talking about current issues and is favorited by young people and the millennials he is fit to become at least vice-presidential slot.
However, the number of Democratic seats in the House is not significant. Furthermore, ‘king-makers’ rejection against him, and lack of sources of supporting funds to win the 2024 contest – if he is juxtaposed with Anies or Sandiaga – are inhibiting factors for AHY.
Indeed, from various surveys, AHY’s name as vice president has always been superior. In fact, the emergence of AHY even as a vice presidential candidate was so frightening to ‘kingmakers’.
Why do the ‘kingmakers’ not like the appearance of AHY’s name, even for the position of vice president?
Because, if AHY is paired with Anies, this candidate chances of winning are the best and become a guarantee for AHY’s future career: successor of Mr. Anies presidency after 2 terms in 10 years. AHY would stand the best chance to become the strongest presidential candidate in the post Anies era, in 2034 presidential election.
If AHY is paired along with Anies, not only would they become the favorite candidate, they would easily outperform other candidates in the 2024 and 2029 presidential elections.
The victory of the Anies-AHY candidacy would mark the return of a the Yudhoyono dynasty in the Republic for another 20 years. Mr. AHY woud spend 10 years as vice-president and another ten years as president, to succeed President Anies Baswedan after two terms in 2034, and would stand for two terms President in 2034-2044.
In a period of 20 years, the presidential and general elections are less exciting, because the results would be more predictable with a strong position for incumbent to stay in power, and the Democrats will be victorious in 20 years.
There is no problem of likes and dislikes for the Yudhoyono dynasty, but having the Yudhoyono dynasty in power would close opportunities and making PDI-P, Gerindra, Golkar, Nasdem idle for 20 years is not an attractive option for them.
Let’s discuss Mr.Anies Baswedan’s chance in the 2024 presidential election if he is endorsed as a presidential candidate by one of the kingmakers.
A SWOT analysis can help us in this regard.
In terms of strength, Anies is a presidential candidate who has all the elements to make himself the best leader from the existing stock.
In terms of weaknesses, Anies does not have a party, he is a non-party , or is independent. In political reality, without the support of a party or more with sufficient at least of 20%, Anies’s chance to be nominated is almost impossible.
In terms of opportunities, Anies is he is a character, a potential leader who is well-equipped with highest recognition and electability, the strongest candidate of all the names that are currently being predicted. Anies represents a stock of young leaders favored by the younger generation and the millennials.
From a threat perspective, Anies or other candidates who are considered to represent anti-establishment of the combined oligarch and ‘black conglomerates’ would face the practice of massive, structured, and systematic fraud in the direct presidential elections as the practice of Indonesian politics after the reform era. ‘Dirty politics’ is the rule of the game with the rampant of money politics.
The oligarchs who have accumulated powers to destroy democracy by introducing identity politics, hijacking of the system through various procedural and substantive barriers in the laws of election system are the dictate of contemporary Indonesian politics.
The existence of election institutions of such as KPU, Bawaslu and even the Constitutional Court, tend to be dictated by the oligarchs, working in a partisan spirit.
As the country is strongly influenced by China, and hence the Communist Party, the political system is controlled in the interests of Chinese Communist Party. It suggests, it is almost impossible for the elections to be conducted honestly and fairly.
From the onset, Mr. Anies Baswedan dares to challenge the conglomerates, the proxy of China in Indonesia and their interests. Four years as Governor, Anies dares to be deviant to reject political cooptation, money offer, or political intimidation. Therefore, Anies would be their strongest enemy to be destroyed in this forthcoming presidential elections.
Without the support and militant people, like when Anies won the last governor election in 2017 defeating Mr. Ahok, the acting governor representing the Chinese descendent, it is almost impossible for Mr. Anies to win this 2024 presidential election.
Jakarta, 6 December 2021