Will Sutiaji be Hero or Zero in the 2018 Election?

Sutiaji is like betting when signing up as a mayoral candidate through PDIP because of his position that might make it skyrocket or even squeezed in PDIP.

According to political analyst Dr Wahyudi Winarjo, Sutiaji will skyrocket if he enrolls as vice mayor because he is not a PDIP cadre. Wahyudi argued that the original cadres of PDIP are better advanced to be mayoral candidates.

The former Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of Muhammadiyah University added that Sutiaji who becomes the mayor candidate will relieve the PDIP cadres so that the nomination result will be maximized.

“The conditions of Sutiaji and PDIP can be squeezed (if Sutiaji is a candidate for mayor),” Wahyudi commented.

The battle for the mayoral seat of Malang period 2018-2023 will be excited by the joining of Sutiaji because of Moch. Anton who championed the PKB run for the position again. In addition, other figures such as Gandrung Rafiul Nurul Huda (an entrepreneur) and Arief Wicaksono (head of Malang parliamentary) also registered through the PDIP.

Moch. Anton, Sutiaji, and Arief Wicaksono are expected to compete tightly because they have a fairly large support base. Moch. Anton will be supported by PKB cadres, some adherents of NU, and the Chinese community because he is the head of PKB Malang, treasurer of PCNU Malang, and chairman of Indonesian Islam-Chinese Unity Malang.

Meanwhile, Sutiaji also does not lose the support of NU followers because he was once a PCNU board. He is also known to be quite close to NU preachers. Sutiaji is expected to be supported by PKB because he has been a PKB administrator until he was elected to Malang City Parliament for the period 2009-2014 from Lowokwaru. Sutiaji’s closeness with a number of academics from the board of Muhammadiyah Malang can add support votes. Especially, as vice mayor, the man from Lamongan often meets people directly.

Furthermore, Arief Wicaksono who served as the Chairman of PDIP Malang is believed to have many loyal cadres. With many PDIP supporters based on the results of legislative elections in 2014, Arief has a big chance to become the mayor. In addition, both Sutiaji and Arief registered through PDIP so that it is possible to duet as pair of candidates for the Mayor and his deputy. Who will be appointed as the mayor candidate is determined by PDIP survey and the decision of PDIP Chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Wahyudi conveyed, as far as it appears, the political map of Malang is on the side of Moch. Anton because during his term as mayor since 2013, his performance is relatively good. The weaknesses in general are not outstanding except the failure to complete the “inheritance” project from the previous mayor such as the construction of Kedungkandang Bridge, Blimbing Market, and Gadang Market.

However, the strength of Moch. Anton to become mayor again may be hampered if Sutiaji and Arief paired. Based on the growing issues in a number of party cadres, Sutiaji and Arief will compromise to become candidate pairs of mayors and deputy through PDIP.

From the standpoint of political calculations, Wahyudi said, the joining of Sutiaji with PDIP can undermine the vote for Moch. Anton. The Anton-Sutiaji pair in the first 2013 election that gets 100 votes will turn into 50-50 because of their breakup. Meanwhile, PDIP Malang’s vote is currently the strongest based on the results of the 2014 legislative general elections with 11 seats. Plus, Sutiaji claimed he had the support of NU followers who are known as Moch. Anton supporters.

In terms of popularity, the name Sutiaji and Arief are almost equal to Anton. “I think the key is the solidity of PDIP, Sutiaji and Arief are very likely to win if PDIP officially carry them together,” Wahyudi said.

The Lecturer from Jepara, Central Java, added that PDIP needed to learn from the failure in the 2013 election when their voice broke out. Some camps support Heri Pudji Utami and Sofyan Edi Jarwoko, while some support Sri Rahayu and Priyatmoko.

On the other hand, Moch. ANTON looks calm in response to tough competition in the upcoming 2018 election. Men who are officially re-nominated through the CLA will not object to them. According to the mayor born December 31, 1965, all citizens of Malang City have the same political rights, especially to participate actively in the process of democracy.

“This is a democratic process, so anyone has the right to take an active role in it,” explained the man known as Abah Anton.

What is important for Anton is to focus on completing the rest of his tenure. Until 2018, his party will remain focused on running the government.

“We have a five-year program that we will finish professionally like the initial agreement since moving forward (with Sutiaji),” he explained. “I am not that eager, all the decisions are in people’s hands,” he said.

In the meantime, he will think back and discuss with PKB regarding his choice to run again as mayor. The reason, PKB must cooperate to re-run for his position. Moch. Anton also already hinted that he would be on a different boat with Sutiaji because he mentioned that he would join the 2018 election with a new partner on several occasions although he was reluctant to mention who.

“The center office will determine the name. For sure, PKB cannot run alone. We already have the mayor and wait for the vice mayor candidate from the coalition party,” revealed Anton.

It is reasonable because PKB has only six seats in parliament and must get at least three additional seats to carry candidates in the regional head elections. Moch. Anton mentioned that several parties had spoken to him and invited him to unify the vision and mission such as Golkar, Perindo, Hanura, and Demokrat.

However, so far intense meetings were held with Golkar and Perindo only. “We continue to communicate politically from now on to stabilize the preparation of the election and capture the mayor’s deputy candidate to accompany me for the better,” said the man who became chairman of the PKB Malang.

Arief, on the other hand, stated that he had got support from five PDIP branch managers to become candidate for mayor. The last support was from Kedungkandang.

Chairman of the branch of Kedungkandang Arif Hermanto said, the board of twigs and subsidiaries agreed to support Arief as a candidate for Malang mayor period 2018-2023. “We want the right one, Arief,” he said.

Arief said he made the decision to run for the election by the support of his subordinates. He wanted to be the mayor after seeing Malang development in Anton’s era which he thought was not optimal.

“There are many failures of Malang City Government in defending the people. Let’s see from infrastructure’s point of view. Kedungkandang Bridge and Islamic Center are not clear until now even the budgeting was done in early 2017,” said Arief.

Pewarta: Nurlayla Ratri & Aris Syaiful
Penyunting: Abdul Muntholib
Alih Bahasa: Faizah Zakiyah
Grafis: Nur Rio