Jakarta —- World’s third largest democracy Indonesia saw peaceful simultaneous regional elections across various provinces and cities on Wednesday (27/6), an atmosphere that many people had previously hope to achieve. Voters in 169 regions went to the polls to elect 17 provincial governors, 113 district heads and 39 city mayors – and their running mates. The regional elections were initially planned for 171 regions. However, in two districts in Papua namely Nduga and Paniai, the elections of governor and district heads did not occur on Wednesday due to administrative and security reasons, respectively.
“(Based on the information) from the vidcons (video conferences) on reports from Kapolda, Pangdam and Danrem, thank God elections in all the 171 regions generally went safely, peacefully, orderly, smoothly and controllably,” Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto told reporters after his video conference meeting with high-ranking security officials at the National Police Headquarters, as reported by Tribunnews.com. Kapolda stands for regional police chiefs, Pangdam for regional military commanders, and Danrem for resort military commanders. The 17 provinces that elected governors and vice governors included West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra, Bali, South Sulawesi, West Kalimantan, Maluku,s and Papua.
By late Wednesday quick counts showed gubernatorial ‘winners’ in almost all of the 17 provinces. In West Java, taking the lead were Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil and his running mate Uu Ruhanul Ulum; incumbent Governor Ganjar Pranowo and Taj Yasin Maimoen in Central Java; Khofifah Indar Parawansa and Emil Dardak in East Java; Nurdin Abdullah and Andi Sudirman in South Sulawesi; Edy Rahmayadi and Musa Rajekshah in North Sumatra. The North Sumatra election battle ground saw former Jakarta Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat and his partner Sihar Sitorus competing.
West Java’s Ridwan-Uu Ruhanul duo were supported by four political parties namely PPP, PKB, Nasdem and Hanura. Central Java’s Ganjar Pranowo and Taj Yasin Maimoen had been nominated by PDI-P, Demokrat, Nasdem, PPP, and Golkar. Backing East Java’s Khofifah Indar Parawansa and Emil Dardak were Golkar, Demokrat, PPP, Nasdem, and Hanura. Meanwhile, seven parties namely PAN, PKS, Gerindra, Hanura, Nasdem, Golkar, and Demokrat supported the Edy-Musa duo. A native of North Sumatra, Edy is a former three-star army general who had served as commander of the Army Strategic Command (Kostrad) and commander of the Bukit Barisan I military commander which oversees five provinces namely North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, and Riau Islands.
Meanwhile, in West Kalimantan, the Karoline Margaret Natasa and her partner Suryadman Gidot, who were supported by PDI-P, Demokrat and PKPI, came in second in the quick counts. Meanwhile, taking the lead as shown by most of the quick counts were Sutarmadji and his running mate Ria Norsan who were backed by Golkar, PKB, Hanura, PKB, and Nasdem. While congratulations began to flow to ‘quick count’ winners by late Wednesday, official results by the General Election Commission (KPU) will only be released on 9 July 2018, according to the official schedule. KPU and regional KPU offices started their official vote counting on Wednesday. The election winners will be inaugurated by September 2018.
Prior to the 2018 regional elections, simultaneous regional head elections had previously been held in Indonesia in 2015 and 2017. The same events will again be carried out in 2022, 2023, and 2027. The regional elections are said to be the first model ever adopted in the world. Some claimed that Wednesday’s elections ‘warmed up’ the presidential and parliamentary elections to be held in April 2019.