Although all quick count results show that the Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama - Djarot Saiful Hidayat pair won the first round of Jakarta's 2017 gubernatorial election, the Anies Baswedan - Sandiaga Uno pair may feel like the moral winner of this election as there is only a small margin (less than four percent) between both pairs. The winner of the second round, ergo winner of the election, will thus be determined by those who voted on the Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono - Sylviana Murni pair in the first round (this pair cannot participate in the second round).
We assume that most people who voted for Ahok or Anies Baswedan in the first round of the Jakarta election will remain loyal to their choice in the second round. However, those who voted for Agus Yudhoyono have three choices in the second round: (1) vote for Ahok, (2) vote for Baswedan or (3) not vote at all (or hand in an empty/invalid vote).
Considering Agus Yudhoyono was backed by the Islamic parties United Development Party (PPP), National Awakening Party (PKB), and National Mandate Party (PAN), we expect a large part of Agus Yudhoyono-voters to support Baswedan in the final round. As is widely known, incumbent Jakarta Governor Ahok is a Christian and ethnic Chinese, while facing a blasphemy trial for allegedly insulting Islam (based on a manipulated video). These are three big obstacles in Indonesia. Considering many of the Agus Yudhoyono-voters are part of the stricter Muslim community, they probably feel much closer to Baswedan.
In the Jakarta gubernatorial election Baswedan is backed by the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), the political vehicle of Prabowo Subianto, and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), known as an Islamist party. Here, there could occur a problem for Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is regarded an ally of Ahok. Subianto was his rival in the 2014 presidential election, which was a very close battle. There is concern that if Baswedan would find his way into Jakarta's top position then the Subianto-Baswedan pair could try to undermine Widodo's plans in - and around - the capital city of Indonesia (for example big infrastructure projects).
In most media, worldwide, the Jakarta gubernatorial election was portrait as being the barometer to measure the degree of religious tolerance and support for pluralism in Indonesia. Perhaps such lines are a bit too sensational (although indeed we are concerned about the development of stricter forms of Islam in Indonesia, especially when these Islamic hardliners uses pressure - such as big demonstrations - or call for - or engage in - violence, as well as concerned about the sometimes soft reaction of Indonesian government or security forces against hardliners' actions or requests, for example the manipulated video of Ahok which should not have led to a trial). The quick count results show that there exists a highly divisive community in Jakarta. However, there were no reports of any protests or violence after all quick count results showed Ahok winning the first round and therefore we conclude that Indonesia's democracy is relatively strong (not less strong than that of the USA). However, no-one has won yet in the first round and the second round may become a fiercer and more emotional battle.
We now have to wait for the official result of the first round of Jakarta's gubernatorial election. If Ahok failed to obtain at least 50.0 percent of votes then we have to get ready for a second round (in two months). Based on the average of the quick count results, Ahok only controls about 42-43 percent of votes, followed by Baswedan with 40 percent. Indonesia's General Elections Commission (KPU) said it will announce the official results of the first round within the next two weeks.
Live Quick Count Results Released on Indonesian TV Channels (>99% of votes counted)
- Lingkaran Survei Indonesia
- Saiful Mujani R&C
- Polmark Indonesia
- Charta Politika
- Indo Barometer