Governor-elect Anies Baswedan (left) meets with Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama at Ahok’s office on Thursday (20/4). The meeting discussed, among other things, changes to Jakarta’s regional budget.

JAKARTA, KOMPAS — A day after the vote on Thursday (19/4) morning the two candidates who competed to be the governor of Jakarta in the runoff election met to reconcile. Anies Rasyid Baswedan and Basuki Tjahaja Purnama asked their supporters to maintain unity.

Anies met Basuki at Jakarta City Hall for about 20 minutes. Anies arrived at about 7:30 a.m. when Basuki was receiving residents’ complaints. They took pictures together before entering the governor’s residence.

“Why do we want to meet quickly? Because we want unity. Even though (the meeting) was only brief,” said Anies.

Anies said there were two topics discussed in the brief meeting. First, he asked how the work programs he proposed during the campaign could be included in the budget being prepared by the Jakarta administration.

Second, he wanted to set a good democratic example by reconciling after the fight. To his supporters, he sent a message to maintain unity. “All citizens of Jakarta, what happened yesterday was over.”

Basuki also welcomed Anies with open arms. He even made assurances his supporters would not make noise. Anies argued that during the campaign period, citizens became extremely polarized because of their different choicest nothing would be permanently divided.

Budget discussion

Basuki said he was open for input on the budget. According to him, the system he built was very open.

With a term of office until October 2017, Basuki still has the opportunity to discuss the regional budget with the City Council. He wanted to sit with the incoming governor to discuss a clean and transparent budget. “I ask Pak Anies to tell his supporting parties not to get into a deadlock,” Basuki said.

Basuki said the internal team of Anies and Sandiaga Uno could give data to Basuki and Djarot Saiful Hidayat about the budget. However, Basuki said he still did not want to see the regional budget’s funds to be diverted to the private interests of City Council politicians.

Basuki advised that the directors and personnel of city-owned enterprises should not to be replaced within the next six to eight months so as to gauge their performances.

Anies argued that it was important to discuss the budget in the transition period because the cycle of regional elections was not in line with the budget cycle. During the intermediate time between the announcement of the results of the election and the inauguration, the outgoing governor and deputy governor still had to discuss the budget.

“If there is no discussion from the start, the budget being prepared does not reflect the plans proposed in the campaign of the new governor. It could be that the new governor’s plans can be implemented only in 2019 because the 2018 budget was already prepared by the old governor,” said Anies.

The City Council deputy speaker from the Gerindra Party, M. Taufik, said with the council will support the new governor. “The regional budget will not be complicated because it is for the people. Anies is obeying the rules,” he said.

Managing expectations

A lecturer of political communications at the State Islamic University of Jakarta who is also the executive director the Political Literacy Institute, Gun Gun Heryanto, argued that the commitment Anies and Basuki made to reconcile was not enough because the use of race and religion in the election left an emotional wound from which some people would not easily recover.

“Reconciliation is not enough with the arrival of one elite, but it has to be included in a number of agendas,” said Gun Gun.

The agenda should include assurances from the two pairs of candidates that their political infrastructure would no longer use race and religion as issues. Their role should be changed into that of a kind of catalyst that can dampen the negative energy fostered by the identity issues among the grassroots.

The elected governor and deputy governor would also have to ensure they would be leaders for everyone, not just for their supporting groups.

Gun Gun added that Anies Sandiaga must keep an eye on the behavior of some members of the political elite. “It will be unfortunate if their political interests meet with the interests of certain groups who want to make the bureaucracy support their [religious and racist] policies and strengthen identity politics,” he said.

Political observer Dimas Oky Nugroho said he appreciated the efforts of Anies in meeting Basuki.

He said after the election it was time for the party elite and their supporters to create an atmosphere that is friendly, amicable and harmonious. Anies and Sandiaga, as the presumptive winners, have to be able to manage the people’s expectations. Because in the second round of campaign the negative sentiments involving race and religion strengthened Anies and Sandiaga must be able to dampen the harmful expectations and build positive energy to reunite Jakarta.

The next challenge is related to the distribution of political duties between Anies and Sandiaga. “Who is the real boss, Anies or Sandiaga, since Sandiaga’s financial experiences were larger?” Dimas said.

Vote counting

Meanwhile, the General Elections Commission (KPU) has finished the official count with the result that 57.95 percent of the vote went to Anies and Sandiaga and 42.05 percent went to Basuki and Djarot.

Mochamad Sidik, KPU Jakarta commissioner for the Voter List Updating Section, said witnesses from the two pairs of candidates and the General Election Supervisory Agency (Panwaslu) were present to oversee the counting.

KPU Jakarta Commissioner Dahliah Umar reported one problematic polling station, namely TPS 01 of Gambir subdistrict, Central Jakarta. The Gambir general election supervisory committee recommended a revote at the polling station, because two C6 forms had been misused there.

(WAD/HLN/DEA/INK)