Joko Widodo or Prabowo Subianto? Who will be the new President of Indonesia? That’s what everyone is wondering now in Indonesia.
As I walked through the streets of Tuktuk looking for some good food, like Nasi Goreng or Gado Gado, in one of the small street cafes, I heard loud sounds. It sounded like a siren from far away, which was coming closer. As I looked over my shoulders, I saw a large truck coming up with around 15 people standing on it. They were shouting something through a megaphone and had signs of probably one of the candidates for the elections.
The next morning, I walked across the street of our hotel and saw how the voting works. It is nothing compared to the Netherlands. The concept ‘privacy’ is not known here, it seems more like a group vote. Around 40 people are sitting under a tarp, discussing. It also doesn’t seem like a very official system. There are large cardboards with a long list of names and two photos. On the photos, the two presidential candidates are presented. Number 1 is Joko Widodo, who has been the president for the past 4 years and is supported and advocated by the locals around here. According to the locals, he has brought positive developments to Indonesia. Number 2 is Prabowo Subianto. He is a new candidate and is less loved by the Indonesians in this area.
In the afternoon, we (my project group) made an arrangement with a local coffee farm and homestay owner, 15 minutes from our hotel. When we stepped into the Tuktuk and followed a wiggly road to the coffee farm, my group and I met some wonderful people along the way. Everyone was smiling and some were even saying “hoe gaat het?’’. Our tuktuk driver was friendly, however couldn’t speak a word of English. Somehow we managed to speak with him through gestures; we found out that he had two children and his brother owned a gas station. When I asked him on which presidential candidate he voted, he clearly stated ‘’number 1, number 1, number 1 is good, number 2 is bad”.
It is clear that the elections are an important happening here. In a few days the new president will be known and the future of Indonesia will hopefully be bright.
Written by: Nina Maaswinkel