With Indonesia’s legislative and presidential elections approaching (on 14 February 2024), we plan to give an update on the elections each month. As we have repeatedly emphasized, these elections are crucial as incumbent President Joko Widodo cannot compete due to the two-term cap. And so, someone else will be behind the country’s political and economic steering wheel.
Start of the Campaign Period
On 28 November 2023 the official campaign period kicked off (which will run until 10 February 2024). For presidential candidate Ganjar Pranowo this period started with a trip to Merauke (Papua), where he promoted his ‘One Village, One Healthcare Facility, and One Health worker’ program (a program that is part of Ganjar Pranowo and his vice-presidential candidate Mahfud MD’s mission and vision). Through this program, Pranowo aims to develop the remote and poor villages across the country. By being healthy individuals, people automatically become more productive, hence healthcare is a major source of social and economic development. Moreover, often when there is one ill family member in a household, other members in the household also become less productive as they have to take care of their ill family member.
Pranowo also stated that the kick-off of his campaign in a remote area in Papua is not a coincidence but should be taken as a clear sign that his team is committed to the social development of the (remote) villages. In Indonesian media, Pranowo was quoted saying: “we will start building from the villages. If Indonesia wants to become a developed place, it starts with the development of the villages”.
Meanwhile, Pranowo’s running mate Mahfud MD went to Sabang (in the far western tip of Indonesia) to start the campaign period, simultaneously, where he promoted a program aimed at improving the Quran reading skills of teachers in Aceh. So, with Sabang and Merauke as starting points, the Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD pair gives a clear signal that it does not want to be Java-centered.
Also the Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming pair made an interesting choice at the beginning of the campaign period. Instead of meeting people around the country (which is the typical thing to do), they decided to continue working (Prabowo being Defense Minister and Gibran the Mayor of Solo). This, too, could actually be strategy as they may want to give a signal to the people that they are committed at working for the people (instead of using precious time for pursuing personal ambitions).
In Indonesian media we read that Prabowo and Gibran will start their campaign on 1 December 2023. In Indonesian media their team said they are likely to devote two days per week on campaigning, and work on the remaining three days.
And the last pair, which is widely regarded as the pair that will leave the presidential race after the first round, opened their campaign in Jakarta, Bogor (West Java), and Mojokerto (in East Java). At the occasion, presidential candidate Anies Baswedan, who particularly enjoys support in, and around, Jakarta, promised to put an end to land disputes in the Tanah Merah neighborhood in North Jakarta if he is to be elected as president.
This is the introduction of the article. The full article can be found in the November 2023 edition of our monthly report (an electronic report, PDF). This report can be ordered by sending an email to email@example.com or a message to +62.882.9875.1125 (including WhatsApp).
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