Jokowi set conditions for Gerindra and PDI-P before his nomination to prevent future pressures.
At the Tanah Abang market that afternoon, Hanggo Henry, 28, was plagued by panic. Solo Mayor Joko Widodo's aide had one hour to find a shirt for his boss to wear when he registered himself as a candidate for the Jakarta gubernatorial election. Lack of time and the unclear request from his boss made him confused. "For sure, checkered, bright shirt with a touch of red," Hanggo quoted his boss's request.
He thought his boss's request was a bit odd. Certainly, Jokowi always wears special attires for major events. For example, when he first came out as a Solo mayoral candidate in 2005, he chose a red jacket which he wore every day. Five years later, his boss opted for a Godong Kates batik shirt with a papaya leaf motif.
Reluctant to linger in the market for long, Hanggo pulled one out from piles of shirts scattered in a stall. It had a pattern of small red, blue, and white squares, similar to the one worn by Jokowi when he watched the Opera van Java comedy show in Solo. He bought three shirts one of size L and two of XL at a total price of Rp400,000 after a thirty percent discount.
Hanggo was relieved when Jokowi was pleased with the shirts. His boss later gave the shirts to his running mate, Basuki Tjahaja "Ahok" Purnama, former East Belitung regent. Wearing matching checked shirts, both went together to register at the General Election Commission (KPU) office in Jakarta.
Hanggo beamed even brighter when Jokowi praised his good taste and instinct. According to Jokowi, besides the unique motif, the array of colors in the shirt could become a symbol of diversity among the Jakartans. "If we roll up the sleeves, it means we are ready to work for the capital city," Jokowi mused.
Jokowi's statement proved true: The checked shirt picked by his aide became a powerful tag line for the pair during their campaign. Jokokwi's style has even set a new trend after the pair won the first round of the elections.
According to the KPU's official recapitulation announced last Thursday, Jokowi-Basuki claimed victory in five districts of the capital, with a 42,60 percent vote. The victory disproved predictions of many survey institutions, which had tipped Fauzi Bowo, the current incumbent, and Nachrowi Ramli to be a winning pair. The Foke-Nara duo garnered victory only in the Thousand Islands with 34 percent of the votes there.
Backed by the Gerindra and Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) coalition in his undertaking of the Capital, Jokowi in fact was pursued by many politicians long before. Many figures ranging from retired generals to political party chairs hoped Jokowi would bring his Solo success story to Jakarta. They provoked him to advance to the Capital.
One of them is Hashim Djojohadikusumo, a brother of Prabowo Subianto, chairman of Gerindra's Advisory Council. Hashim in early 2012 asked Jokowi to contest in the Jakarta gubernatorial election. "We communicated by telephone afterwards," Jokowi recounted.
Jokowi has long known Hashim. As chairman of Indonesian Heritage Conservation Board, Hashim has frequent contacts withthe Indonesian Heritage Cities Network, where Jokowi is also a member. "Our communication intensified around the end of last year," said Muhammad Taufik, chairman of Gerindra Jakarta. Pursuit of Jokowi came after Gerindra failed to nominate Djan Faridz who was appointed Minister of Public Housing.
Jokowi's serious advancement towards Jakarta was apparent when he was asked by his party (PDI-P) to come to Jakarta for the gubernatorial candidate test on March 6. He was the one and only candidate to be invited from among several candidates who participated in the screening process. "PDI-P felt obliged because Jokowi was considered capable," said Djarot Syaiful Hidayat, Chairman of the PDI-P's Selection Team.
The fit and proper test did not immediately yield results. Although Jokowi said yes to the nomination, his name did not quickly appear as a candidate. It turned out the party was divided in two camps: one supporting Foke paired with a PDI-P deputy. The other camp wanted PDI-P to forge a coalition with another party with PDI-P in control of the DKI-1 district. This second camp also backed Jokowi.
PDI-P's hesitation to nominate Jokowi was acted upon by Gerindra. Prabowo Subianto quickly contacted PDI-P's chair, Megawati to meet in Lenteng Agung, South Jakarta. After a half hour meeting, Prabowo announced their plan to nominate Jokowi as Jakarta's gubernatorial candidate. He even declared his readiness to become the chairman of the campaign team. Surprisingly, Megawati agreed.
Gerindra's chairman, Suhardi, said that Prabowo at the time already had plan B in case Mega rejected Jokowi's nomination. "The plan was to invite small parties to join in nominating Jokowi-Ahok," Suhardi related. "But since Ibu Mega also wanted Jokowi, everything was settled."
Mega had already signaled support for Jokowi. During a meeting a few hours before meeting with Prabowo, she said, "Jokowi can lead Jakarta." Her words, according to a Tempo's source inside PDI-P, was a display of her attitude, given that the party did not have any official stance with regard to the gubernatorial candidates. Moreover, her husband Taufiq Kiemas previously supported Fauzi Bowo, running with Adang Ruchiatna.
Mega's signal referred to the fit and proper test done on Jokowi early March. The test, conducted in Central Jakarta, lasted only five minutes. Mega asked Jokowi's readiness to run in the Jakarta gubernatorial election as a candidate from her party. Jokowi answered in the affirmative but openly admitted he did not have enough funds to bankroll the campaign.
Although in possession of assets worth around Rp27.2 billion, as reported to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) last June, Jokowi admitted he did not have enough cash, since almost all of his wealth was in the form of land, buildings and a factory. Other assets in the form of cash, deposits, savings and current accounts were worth only Rp1.5 billion.
That amount, he said, was only enough for the Central Java gubernatorial election campaign. Mega did not seem bothered too much by this issue. She asked Jokowi to contribute as much as he could. "OK, just spend what you have."
Then, Jokowi requested time to verify his stance; he wanted to be released from the party, should he be elected later. "If I become governor, I shall work for the public. Not for a group or a party," he said.
Without meaning to belittle the party that had backed him, Jokowi added, "I will continue to hold the party's ideology steadfastly."
Mega merely chuckled. "Why, I know you." Mega was quoted by the source as saying. "That is why I asked Pak Jokowi to run." Jokowi nodded, and the conversation ended. Later, at the party's Extraordinary Regional WorkMeeting, Jokowi's nomination was endorsed.
Jokowi also stressed the two conditions lack of fund and his policy to "not be dictated" also to Prabowo Subianto, two days before the registration. Jokowi came to the meeting at the invitation of Hashim.
Also present at the meeting were Taufik, Chairman of Gerindra Jakarta. Jokowi at that time said he was aware of Gerindra's support. "Because it was widely discussed in the media," he said.
After announcing his readiness, Jokowi again emphasized his aspiration to work for the people of Jakarta and asked the party to release him so he could work effectively. According to Jokowi, no one objected when he conveyed these messages. "They understood my position and did not mind," he recalled.
A few hours later, the two parties agreed to nominate Jokowi. Who, then, will be his running mate? Those close to Mega suggested actor Deddy Mizwar. Gerindra proposed a businessman, a one star general, and Basuki Tjahaja Purnama alias Ahok and insisted on Jokowi-Ahok.
Prabowo first met Ahok around end of February at the Intercontinental Hotel in Jakarta. Ahok said, "I don't have money," and Probowo responded, "I'm not asking for your money. We will bear all the expenses." Feeling odd, Ahok asked, "Then how do I return the favor? Do you want MRT (mass rapid transportation) project for Pak Hashim?" Prabowo, Ahok said, answered, "The condition is that you have to succeed. Of course, our hope is to attract publicity for our party."
Both Jokowi and Ahok acknowledged their need to stress their independent positions before the nomination. "It's better to be straightforward and unpleasant now than later," Ahok explained.
According to Jokowi, he does not allow himself to be steered by any party, including his backers. He said the duty of the parties ended after they accompanied him to the seat. "Then, all the duties and responsibilities become ours. The parties cannot dictate us on how we do our jobs," he said.
Therefore, he rejected the notion that his nomination along with Ahok will be used as a bridge by certain individuals aspiring to become President in 2014. "What we are focusing now is how to build Jakarta. Period," he reiterated.
From their base on Jalan Borobudur 22, Central Jakarta, hundreds of supporters of Jokowi-Basuki in checked shirts continued to arrive. They came from various social layers; from humble street vendors to professionals. They were singing a song of victory.
Who owns Jokowi?
Who wons Basuki?
By Widiarsi Agustina, Ahmad Rafiq, Ananda Theresia, Ira Sufa, Sundari
No. 48/12, July 24, 2012