Hi Ibu Sara--
It is very difficult to make a decision for this election. Currently all media and social media are releasing black campaigns. To me this is really disgusting for a presidential election. Everyone claims that they are good candidates but actually they are not.
Currently in Aceh, the chief of Party Aceh declared that they will make Prabowo the president of Indonesia. According to rumors I read in the local Aceh newspaper a week ago, Party Aceh received one billion rupiah when they campaigned for the governor election and now Party Aceh will return it by campaigning for the Gerindra party for Prabowo to be the next Indonesian President.
In Aceh, especially in Banda Aceh and Bireun, from my personal observation, people do not care about this election, even though Prabowo’s banner is everywhere and Prabowo visited Aceh last week for more campaigning.
As far as “word on the street:” people are still confused about who to vote for. There is no pressure yet from Party Aceh; everything looks calm still. Neither candidate is who people in Aceh want. And at this time it seems that people are not frightened by Party Aceh for Prabowo [meaning there does not seem to be any voter intimidation yet].
I asked I. and S. and they both said they will not go to vote but will stay at their office on election day (July 9th).
You wrote, “Jokowi is rather weak and being controlled by Megawati, but he has a progressive agenda and is truly promoting diversity. Prabowo is a war criminal whose supporters include very fundamentalist groups who do not believe in free speech or equality and are very much against the idea of Pancasila even though Prabowo says he supports it.” Although I hear these statements a lot on the street, I don’t know if they are true or not, because both of them claimed that they will do what they say (and I don’t trust this).
Overall from my personal opinion, both candidates will be very dangerous for the country and especially for Aceh. If Jokowi wins the election, people in Aceh say that Aceh province will be divided in 3 provinces, and t most of Aceh’s citizens do not want this to happen.
If Prabowo wins the election, the GAM (Party Aceh) will have more power to control all of Aceh, and Aceh citizens will start complaining about this situation.
I don’t know who I will vote for. I’m still waiting and seeing. Currently I don’t like either.
Thanks Ibu Sara--