Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Supporters believe Ganjar Pranowo will secure 2024 presidential election ticket despite PDIP’s internal conflict

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Gusty da Costa





A group of volunteers supporting Ganjar Pranowo to be Indonesia’s next president in the 2024 general elections believes that the Central Java governor will secure candidacy ticket from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP). They also believe that the New Indonesia Coalition (KIB) – a coalition of political parties consisting of Golkar Party, the United Development Party (PKB) and the National Mandate Party (PAN) – will support Ganjar.

Imanuel Eben Hezer, chairman of Ganjar supporters GP Mania, said that he already communicated with the elites in both PDIP and KIB. They were very likely to support Ganjar, he claimed.

“We have seen in the media and in several areas there are a number of political parties already declaring their supports for Ganjar Pranowo. Even though the supports came from parties’ regional branches, I believe it is impossible that they support an outsider without the consent of their central board members,” he told Indonesia Business Post on November 8, 2022.

PDIP internal rift

Despite the fact that there has been a dividing supports for Ganjar and the House of Representatives’ Speaker Puan Maharani inside the PDIP, Hezer believed that majority of factions in the party would support Ganjar’s candidacy. Puan, who is also the daughter of PDIP chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri, has hinted her intention to run for president in the 2024 election. Hezer said that Puan’s supporters have attacked Ganjar publicly.

According to Hezer, Puan’s supporters have made a wrong move since the beginning. Instead of talking about women representative, they attacked and downgrade Ganjar.

“The attacks backfired and were detrimental to the Puan’s electability. Her electability did not increase because their political attitude contradicts the Indonesian culture,” he added.

The results of the Kompas R&D poll released on October 26, 2022, recorded Ganjar’s electability of
23.2% as compared to Puan, who only reached 1%.

The reason for supporting Ganjar

GP Mania first declared their supports for Ganjar in 2020, which was in a way similar to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s supporters to reject the president’s third period candidacy.

“This [the support] is not about Ganjar. It is about the third period of presidency, which is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Currently, there are supports for Ganjar and Anies,” Hezer said, referring to former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan.

The option to support Ganjar is based on the ideological consideration that he has the commitment to defend the Unitary State of Indonesia. Ganjar is also considered as a young leader who has energy to continue Jokowi’s works.

“Java is an area with the majority of voters. We can’t ignore the fact. Ganjar has the electoral impact for political parties that support him,” he said, adding that Ganjar as a Javanese will be a contributing factor for the election.

Hezer said Ganjar also had a strong anti corruption commitment as Central Java governor. He highlighted Ganjar’s policy for banning gratification and the use of money for open recruitment of bureaucratic positions. Central Java is the only province in Indonesia which has anti corruption education until high school level,” he said.

Ganjar’s name had been implicated in the e-ID card (e-KTP) corruption case. However, there has been no evidence that link the governor to the case.

Hezer also added that Ganjar also used the provincial administration budget for poor areas in the province.

Massive declarations

GP Mania has been publicly declaring their supports for Ganjar in several provinces in Indonesia. The last declaration was in Tawangmangu, Karanganyar regency, Central Java, which is Ganjar’s birth place. The declaration in Central Java is important as it is one of the electoral base for Ganjar.

The supporters have several reasons to pick the locations for the declaration. First, GP Mania conducts  a campaign in densely populated area. Second, the areas have strong political symbolism.

“For examples, we did the campaign in rice fields. In Larantuka [East Nusa Tenggara], we did the declaration on the beach. Larantuka has a strong history of catholicism and a base for Jokowi that we should maintain. While in West Sumatra, we did it in Bukittinggi because the city has a symbol of intellectuality. And in West Java, we did the campaign in Indramayu [regency] because Jokowi lost in the areas,” Hezer explained.

Hezer said that GP Mania has secured logistical and financial supports from local businessmen, who wanted to be board members of the supporter group.

However, he stated the group has not received funds from conglomerates and the “Nine Dragons”, which represents the country’s wealthiest businessmen.

“It is difficult for us to even pay the electricity bill. We get [the fund] from the people who have the empathy for our cause to support Ganjar. We will be grateful if there is [financial] supports,” he added.

Hezer said that if Ganjar gor the blessing from Megawati, he would face Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and Anies in the 2024 elections. However, he was optimistic that Ganjar would win the contest.

Gusty da Costa






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