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Anies: the dark horse of the elections who opposes the displacement of capital – Politics

Anies: the dark horse of the elections who opposes the displacement of capital – Politics


Indonesia decides

Former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan presented himself as the anti-establishment candidate in the presidential campaign, climbing to second place in the polls on a message that included his opposition to a costly capital transfer to East Kalimantan .

The former Minister of Education and Culture is now the dark horse candidate expected to face favorite and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto in a possible runoff.

He was floundering in last place, but in recent weeks his opposition to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo's decision to move the country's political center away from Jakarta has helped his campaign come to life.

A former speaker, the 54-year-old is seen as outclassing his rivals in presidential debates and praised for offering an alternative as rights groups complain about the rollback of democratic gains under Jokowi.

In an interview with AFP in December, Anies said that if elected, he would govern from Jakarta instead of Nusantara, the planned capital, which is scheduled to open in August.

“Is it ready? The most ready infrastructure is here,” he said, referring to the current capital.

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He also pledged to strengthen the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to eliminate corruption.

Anies served as a minister under Jokowi before becoming governor of Jakarta in 2017.

But during the election campaign, he attacked Jokowi's administration over free speech and nepotism, putting pressure on Prabowo, who chose Jokowi's eldest son as his running mate.

His agenda for change has appealed to conservative Islamic factions in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.

Read also: Candidate profile: Anies Baswedan“Story of Change”

With his two main rivals either candidates for the president's party or members of his government, Anies occupies the position of the government's main critic.

The strategy appears to bring him closer to a runoff clash after overtaking former Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo in the polls.

“Ganjar has a downward trend, Anies has an upward trend,” said Djayadi Hanan, executive director of Indonesia's independent survey institute.

“Anies follows the grand narrative of change. Ganjar is unclear.”

Anies was born in West Java and later studied in Japan and the United States, earning a doctorate in political science.

The father of four studied in Yogyakarta and became rector of a Jakarta university in 2007.

Himself a moderator of the presidential debates in 2009, he now finds himself at the center of them.

Also read: Online campaign offers Anies and Ganjar alliance chance in second roundJokowi's rival

Anies entered politics in 2013 and became Jokowi's campaign spokesperson a year later.

He was rewarded with a ministerial post after his boss's victory, but left office after less than two years, with Jokowi giving no reason for his dismissal.

During his campaign for Jakarta governor, Anies was accused of stoking religious divisions and courting the Islamic vote against the Christian incumbent, Basuki Tjahaja “Ahok” Purnama, a Jokowi ally.

Anies was a popular governor of Jakarta, more than doubling public transportation coverage across the city during his five-year term.

But his tenure was marked by efforts to undermine his predecessor's legacy, including ending his flagship program of regular river dredging to stem flooding.

Now, Anies will seek to replace his former boss despite all signs pointing to Prabowo, in a bid to upend the world's third-largest democracy.




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