Strongest Governor Candidate, Anies Must Anticipate Fraud Like the Previous Presidential Election

JAKARTA– Anies Baswedan has a great chance of winning if he runs in the upcoming November 2024 Jakarta gubernatorial election. However, this assumes the contest adheres to the electoral principles of being direct, general, free, secret, honest, and fair, or "luber jurdil."

Therefore, Anies must anticipate that the experience of the 2024 Presidential Election, which was considered fraught with fraud, might repeat in this Jakarta gubernatorial election. Especially now, as all political forces, particularly the ruling authorities and the oligarchs, strive to take control because Jakarta is becoming increasingly strategic.

This is in light of becoming an agglomeration area that includes Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, and Cianjur (Jabodetabekjur) following the enactment of the Special Jakarta Area Law. Thus, all methods are considered fair game to defeat the former Governor of DKI Jakarta.

“It is not unlikely that there are dark forces at play behind the scenes to defeat him (Anies). Because Anies is a formidable opponent,” explained senior political analyst Smith Alhadar when contacted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

Especially since the General Chairman of DPP PSI Kaesang Pangarep is almost certain to run in the Jakarta gubernatorial election following the Supreme Court’s (MA) decision related to the age limit for regional head candidates.

Even the MA decision that one can run for governor or vice governor if they are at least 30 years old at the time of inauguration, not when designated as a candidate as per KPU rules, is seen as specifically facilitating the youngest son of President Jokowi, Kaesang.

Given that Kaesang will only turn 30 on December 25, 2024, while the schedule for nominating regional head candidates is in September 2024, and the inauguration is planned for January 2025, Kaesang will be eligible to run. “The MA decision clearly favors Kaesang. So, this must be anticipated,” continued Smith.

Another challenge related to the 2029 Presidential Election. The figures who will run in the upcoming presidential election, especially Prabowo who will be the incumbent, are also likely to try to obstruct Anies. Because they certainly do not want the Governor of DKI Jakarta’s position to become a political stage for Anies. “The candidates for 2029 definitely do not want Anies to have a political platform for the next 5 years,” he said.

This advisor to the Institute for Democracy Education (IDe) also touched on the high level of satisfaction of Jakarta residents with his performance when he was governor, which reached over 80 percent. According to him, the residents' satisfaction, which is a significant asset for Anies to win, also needs to be scrutinized to see if it is still maintained to this date.

“Because, after all, (Anies) has been away from Jakarta for two years. And people’s satisfaction can change,” said Smith, who along with Abdurrahman Syehbubakar wrote the book Anies Baswedan: Ideas, Narratives, Works, Responding to the Nation’s Future Challenges.

He urged Anies to carefully review and prepare anticipatory steps seriously for the possibility of fraud because Anies must win if he runs in the Jakarta gubernatorial election. Otherwise, Anies’ popularity will diminish, making it unlikely for him to run in the upcoming presidential election.

“Because if he loses, it’s goodbye. He’s finished,” concluded Smith Alhadar.