Tuesday, 01 May, 2012 | 12:40 WIB
Guerilla Presidential Candidates Ready Themselves for 2014 Battle
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The 2014 race to Indonesia’s highest seat of power is expected to heat up, with some candidates already implementing strategic designed campaigns. According to survey institutes, there are at least 10 well known names mentioned as strong candidates; Megawati Soekarnoputri, Prabowo Subianto, Jusuf Kalla, Aburizal Bakrie, Hatta Rajasa, Sri Mulyani, Ani Yudhoyono, Dahlan Iskan, Muhammad Mahfud Mahfuddin (Mahfud Md) and Puan Maharani.
Since early 2011, banners and billboards with Bakrie's photo proclaiming Golkar Party's program to support small enterprises, have simultaneously appeared in remote villages in 33 provinces. Golkar hired Denny Januar Aly, head of Lingkaran Survei Indonesia (Indonesian Survey Circle), as a consultant to groom Aburizal. "That time Golkar and Ical [Bakrie] ranked 3 and 7,” Denny was quoted as saying in the Tempo's cover report of April 30, 2012 edition. He claimed that "The Golkar Rise with Small and Medium Enterprises” has raised Golkar's popularity since then, indicated by the rise of Aburizal's position in surveys.
Aburizal also launched its own family project "Bakrie Microfinance" last December, which gave Rp 1million loan as a business capital to individuals. The concept was modeled after the Grameen Bank's system initiated by Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh. Since its start, the project has reached out to 6.000 people in 10 provinces in Java, Sumatera, Sulawesi and Papua with a total of 70 percent constituents.
Denny's project of these days are to bring Aburizal closer to the Javanese culture, using Javanese dialect in congratulatory ads. Aburizal is aware that it's not easy to net a large number voters. His other obstacle is the Lapindo mudflow disaster in Sidoarjo, East Java, involving his family business. Denny said the two issues can be contained by choosing the right vice presidential candidate.
Jusuf Kalla has also shown interest in taking part in the race. Although a number of surveys still place the chairman of Indonesian Red Cross in the top list, Fahmi Idris, Golkar Advisory Board member said "Golkar will not nominate JK [Kalla].” Fahmi, who was a campaign team member of Kalla in 2009, said so far United Development Party (PPP) has officially mentioned JK's name as one of many options. Kalla told Tempo that the Democrat Party has not ruled out the option to support him. "I've met SBY several times and I have good relations with everyone,” he said.
Another candidate in the run is Prabowo Subianto. The founder of Gerindra Party last Friday expressed his readiness to nominate himself “if the people wished for it”. Since Prabowo's name was announced as a presidential candidate last November, Hashim Djojohadikusumo, Probowo's coal mining businessman brother boasted that he had set aside Rp 100 trillion to support his brother. But , Fadli Zon, Gerindra's Chairman differed, "We are ready, but out fund is not that big.”
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