Indonesia will face the general election in February 2024 to vote for both president and vice-president candidates, also members of parliaments. The year of 2024 will also become the final year of President Joko Widodo’s reign after 10 years in the office before the new president-elect will take the office in October 2024.
Contrary from the previous election in 2019, where President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) competed as the incumbent in reclaiming his seat against former military general Prabowo Subianto (who is currently become the Minister of Defense of Indonesia). General Election 2024 is the race towards a no man’s land, a place where no incumbent can reclaim his position. The debate over policies, ideas, vision and mission, will become more important to increase the votes especially from the swing voters.
In 2014, Jokowi won the presidential election thank to his public image that was perceived as the representative of the new politic. A clean and transparent politic with fast bureaucracy. During his reign as the Governor of Jakarta Special Region, he successfully made himself as the leader for new politics that can reinvigorate the provincial and even national politics through his leadership style.
Introducing blusukan visit (unannounced spot check) to improve the bureaucracy and public services. In a short time, Jokowi became a national sensation. Jokowi was not the chairman of a political party, he was not part of business elites, and he was not part of political elites on national level. His status helped him perceived as the representative of the people.
In 2024, Indonesia will again face a presidential election to choose the new president to lead the massive archipelago. The General Elections Commissions (KPU) already decided that the final line-up for president and vice-president candidates will be revealed in October 2023 and the election will be held in February 2024.
During the process towards the announcement for the final candidates in October 2023, there will be many speculations and probably declarations for the president and vice-president candidates, some might come true, and some might not. As some parties are now still considering in fixing their coalition to run for the election.
The year of 2023 will become a political year in Indonesia with the general election is right in the early of 2024. As previously mentioned, that since there will be no incumbent competing in 2024, the vision and working programs of the candidates will play big roles in gathering votes.
The Current Strongest Candidates by the Polls
After 2 terms of presidential leadership, Jokowi will not be able to run again as a president candidate in 2024. Meanwhile, Jokowi has set several national development milestones during his reign especially on infrastructure. Some of the national projects might not be finished in 2024 and will need to continue under the hand of the next government.
From various surveys in Indonesia, there are 3 names with the highest electability level. They are Ganjar Pranowo (current Governor of Central Java province), Anies Baswedan (former Governor of Jakarta Special Region Province), and Prabowo Subianto (current Minister of Defense of Indonesia).
In the latest survey run by Charta Politika on the electability level of presidential candidates placed Ganjar Pranowo as the figure with the highest electability that reach 32.6%. Followed by Anies Baswedan and Parabowo Subianto with 23.1% and 22.0% respectively.
Ganjar Pranowo, the current Governor of Central Java and the member of PDI-P (Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle) if announced as the final presidential candidate is likely to continue Jokowi’s vision in leading Indonesia. Ganjar and Jokowi have several things in common. They are both from Central Java, they are from the same political party, and they are perceived to have similar leadership style.
The Head of Jokowi Mania (Joman), a volunteer organization created to support Jokowi, namely Immanuel Ebenezer already declared that Joman will support Ganjar Pranowo to be the next president of Indonesia. In a media interview Ganjar Pranowo said that the next president will have to continue the new capital city project in Kalimantan. Showing his support for the current national projects to continue.
Anies Baswedan, former Governor of Jakarta Special Region and a non-party, is another strong candidate. Zulfan Lindan, a member of Nasdem Party (National Democrat Party) stated that Anies is the anti-thesis of Jokowi. Adian Napitupulu, member of PDI-P (Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle) expressed his doubt that Anies will continue new capital city project.
Meanwhile Prabowo Subianto, current Minister of Defense and the chair of Gerindra Party is also likely to compete. His position as Jokowi’s main presidential competitor for 2 previous elections in 2014 and 2019 has gave him some loyal supporters. But he is also now part of the Jokowi’s cabinet as the Minister of Defense showing that he is supporting Jokowi’s vision in leading Indonesia.
As Indonesia’s election is coming closer, the political situation in 2023 will be heat-up more than the previous year. The conversation related to the presidential election such as vision mission, critics, policies, and more will become more important than the previous years and gain high momentum in 2023.
In regard to the General Election, this year 2023 will be the front door as Indonesia prepares to welcome the political year ahead and things will heat-up. But despite the political situation, government, election’s contestants, and the General Elections Commissions have some important works to be done, one of them is to minimize polarization among the people. To remind that the unity in diversity, including the diversity of political choice, is the idea to be up upheld the most.
by: Putu Radar Bahurekso