Jakartans Choose Governor in Race That Focuses on Infrastructure

Residents in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, cast their votes today to elect the next governor, who will be expected to find solutions to the city’s traffic congestion and other problems that may impede economic growth.

About 7 million people voted today at more than 15,000 polling stations to pick the capital’s new governor, according to data from the Jakarta provincial election committee.

“The gubernatorial election can go in one round if a candidate won 50 percent plus 1 vote,” said Suhartono, a member the Jakarta provincial election committee.

The new governor will face traffic problems, flooding and regular power outages. Indonesia will need $53 billion through 2020 to build railways, airports and seaports, Bambang Susantono, deputy transport minister said April 17. The government can fund as much as 20 percent of the required investment, he said.

Six pairs of candidates ran for the spot, including current governor Fauzi Bowo, who is backed by the nation’s biggest party, Democrat.

Improving the city’s administration will be a challenge for the new governor, said Marco Kusumawijaya, executive director of the Jakarta-based Rujak Centre for Urban Studies. The current administration failed to tackle the city’s lingering transportation and flooding problem, he said.

“They’re outdated and incompetent,” Kusumawijaya said in a phone interview. “The duty for the next governor would be updating the bureaucracy and to make them work with the public.”

“I don’t mind another candidate who’s not a citizen of Jakarta but I think they have to fight hard in this election,” said a father of two Koesbini, 63, who moved to Jakarta in 1975 from Sulawesi island. “I see they have some good track records.”

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