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Cablegate: Jakarta Election Looms: Do Voters Care?

VZCZCXRO9980
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2085/01 2150218
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 030218Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5623
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4178
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0957
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1305
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 3381
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0622
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0199
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002085

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, INR/EAP
NSC FOR EPHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM KISL PINR ID
SUBJECT: JAKARTA ELECTION LOOMS: DO VOTERS CARE?

REF: A. JAKARTA 1972

B. JAKARTA 1157
C. JAKARTA 11376

JAKARTA 00002085 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified -- Please
handle accordingly.

Summary
=======

2. (SBU) Political flags and banners have covered Jakarta in
recent days as the capital prepares for its August 8
gubernatorial election. The activities of the two
candidates--Deputy Governor Fauzi Bowo, representing a broad
coalition of parties, and former police official Adang
Daradjatun of the Islamic Prosperous Justice Party
(PKS)--have dominated the news. There have been various
charges of electoral law violations, but no violence
reported. Adang remains the underdog in the race. Most
Jakartans appear apathetic. Bio notes are contained in Para
9. End Summary.

Election Looms
==============

3. (U) Political flags and banners are covering Jakarta as
the capital prepares for its gubernatorial election on August
8. Local press coverage of the campaign has increased
dramatically in recent days, with the national papers
devoting multi-page spreads to each candidate. The two
candidates have been holding rallies in various parts of the
capital district with supporters. Campaigning is scheduled
to formally conclude by August 5.

Charges and Counter-Charges
===========================

4. (U) Allegations of campaign misconduct and alleged dirty
tricks have lately been thrown around by the two campaigns.
Jakarta police have recorded four criminal cases, two
administrative cases, and over 1700 traffic citations related
to the campaigns, while an independent election watchdog
group claims there have been 22 significant violations,
including cases where campaigners have handed out money to
prospective voters. A flavor of the charges includes the
Bowo camp's protest against the burning of banners in North
Jakarta. Adang and PKS, in the meantime, have filed a
lawsuit over an allegedly Bowo-linked tabloid that criticized
PKS and used an adult-oriented photo as the accompanying
illustration.

5. (U) The campaign continues to be peaceful. As of yet, no
violence between the rival camps has been reported.

Bowo Favored
============

6. (SBU) A late July poll of 600 registered voters showed
more than half say they will select Bowo, with only 22
percent saying they preferred Adang. Over 20 percent of
voters remained undecided. Nevertheless, Adang reported
receiving $3.5 million in campaign donations in the month of
July as compared to Bowo's $1.2 million. In addition, the
youth wings of the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle
(PDIP) and Democratic Party (PD) announced on 1 August they
would break with their parent parties to back Adang, both
possible signs that the race will be closer than polling
indicates.

7. (SBU) An upcoming August 4 debate between the two
candidates could afford Adang the opportunity to make up
further ground. Contacts have told us that they think that
Adang has run the stronger campaign and is the more
charismatic of the two. That said, most observers do not see
him getting more than 30-40 percent of the vote, though some
say that even that sort of sum would give the Islamic-leaning
PKS a symbolic victory.


JAKARTA 00002085 002.2 OF 002


Apathy Reigns
=============

8. (SBU) A recent poll indicates that as many as 65 percent
of the 5.7 million registered voters in Jakarta may not vote,
a stunningly low figure in a country where over 90 percent of
eligible voters participated in the 2004 presidential
election. Many of our contacts have asserted to us that the
campaign simply has not stirred Jakartans and they predict a
very low turnout.

Bio Notes
=========

9. (SBU) Mission has the following bio notes on the two
candidates:

-- Fauzi Bowo: Born 10 April 1948 in Jakarta...attended
Catholic schools...briefly attended University of Indonesia
for one year before finishing his education in Germany; he
received a M.A. in Technology from Braunschweig University,
Germany, in 1976 and his Ph.D in Engineering from the
University of Kaiserlautern, Germany, in 1999...has worked
for the city of Jakarta since 1978, serving as deputy
governor from 2002-2007...is a leading member of the Jakarta
branch of Nahdlatul Ulama (the largest mass Muslim
organization in Indonesia) and heads the Jakarta chapter of
Ikatan Pencak Silat, a martial art native to Indonesia...has
one wife, Sri Hartati Bowo, and three daughters.

-- Adang Daradjatun: Born 13 May 1949 in Bogor, West
Java...grew up in Jakarta and Bandung...national police
academy class of 1971...served in a variety of mainly local
and city police positions in Jakarta from 1971-1989 before
being sent to Maluku in 1990...returned to Jakarta for
national police postings from 1992-2004 before being named
deputy National Police Chief...retired in 2006...has one
wife, Nunun Nurbaeti, and four children (three boys, one
girl) ranging in age from 12 to 35 years old.
HUME

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