The General Elections Commission (KPU) has recently received reports on second period campaign funds. The amount of funds reported by the presidential and vice-presidential candidate pair Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno was larger than the funds of the incumbent pair Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin. However, there were only small contributions from supporting parties for these two candidate pairs.
Based on the report, the total campaign funds for Jokowi-Ma’ruf reached Rp 55.9 billion and Prabowo-Sandi was Rp 56 billion. The Jokowi-Maruf pair relies heavily on group donors, while the Prabowo-Sandi camp depends more on their individual funds.
The largest donation for the National Campaign Team (TKN) of Jokowi-Ma’ruf pair came from TRG and TBIG golf community. The total donation reached 67.8 percent (Rp 37.9 billion) in the form of goods and services.
The second largest donor for Jokowi-Ma’ruf campaign was non-governmental business entity. Four business entities reportedly donated Rp 11.5 billion in cash, including PT Lintas Teknologi Indonesia. There were also donations from 129 individuals worth Rp 1.1 billion.
Meanwhile, personal donations from Jokowi and Ma’ruf only reached Rp 32 million. The donations from supporting political parties were only 9.6 percent (Rp 5.4 billion). It came from four parties, including PDI-P, Nasdem Party and Perindo Party, even though there are nine parties supporting the incumbent.
Prabowo-Sandi also experienced the same thing. The pair’s campaign team (BPN) only relied on campaign funds from their presidential and vice presidential candidates’ personal pockets in the past four months. About 72.3 percent (Rp 40.5 billion) of the funds came from Sandiaga, while 25 percent (Rp 14.05 billion) was received from Prabowo. Up to now, no business entity has donated funds to Prabowo-Sandi. Meanwhile, donations from individuals only reached Rp 150 million.
Donations from supporting parties seemed far below expectations. From five supporting parties, Gerindra became the only party that has disbursed campaign funds worth Rp 1.3 billion to BPN. The other four parties in the Adil Makmur Coalition – the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Democratic Party, and the Berkarya Party – have not yet donated funds for their presidential and vice presidential candidates.
The low number of donations for campaign has forced Prabowo to criticize those parties in his coalition. During the Gerindra Party National Conference in Sentul, West Java (12/17), Prabowo had made sarcastic comments for his supporting parties that have not yet contributed. He even compared them with motorcycle taxi drivers who have made donations.
“Hi party elites, you are humiliating yourself if you do not contribute. Motorcycle taxi drivers have just donated their income to us,” Prabowo said.
Deputy Head of the PKS Advisory Council Hidayat Nur Wahid responded to Prabowo’s comments, saying there is no obligation for coalition parties to donate funds for campaign to their presidential candidates. Regardless of the donations, PKS believes that it has provided a political vehicle for Prabowo and Sandi to be able to pass the presidential threshold and eventually take part in the 2019 Presidential Election. ”The fact is that the parties supporting Prabowo-Sandi have provided tremendous assistance. Without PKS, PAN and Democratic Party, can Gerindra nominate itself?” he said.
However, Hidayat did not reveal whether his party would donate funds for Prabowo-Sandi. Likewise, the Democratic Party has not given certainty. Deputy Secretary General of the Democratic Party Andi Arief said there is no rule obligation for political parties to help finance the campaign of the Prabowo-Sandi pair.
He even responded to Prabowo’s sarcastic comments by saying that Sandiaga Uno had promised to help finance the campaign of the coalition parties that support him in the 2019 Presidential Election. “It is actually the opposite, vice presidential candidate Sandiaga is the one who promised to help with the campaign funds. The Democratic Party does not think too much about Sandiaga Uno’s promises,” Andi said on his Twitter account, Wednesday (1/2).
Although there are still no campaign funds from his supporting parties other than Gerindra, Sandiaga Uno claimed he is not too concerned about the matter. He is aware that those parties also need substantial funds to finance their respective campaigns, which is why they have not been able to provide more support to the National Winning Team (BPN) of Prabowo-Sandi.
Sandi also said his supporting parties have provided significant contribution in various regions. “The form of support may already be seen in the field. Each party has issued campaign props. However, there has been no record of how much of its contribution has been reported to the BPN,” he said.
From the total campaign funds of Rp 54 billion, BPN spent Rp 46.6 billion. Since there is still a long campaign period – almost four months before the deadline in April 2019 – Prabowo and Sandi inevitably have to provide another source of campaign funds from their own pockets.
Indeed, Sandi has prepared substantial funds. He sold 3.28 percent of his shares in PT Saratoga Investama Tbk from October to the end of last year. As a result, he scooped Rp 567.33 billion in funds. The stock sales were carried out because a report from the BPN’s Treasurer stated that he should have substantial funds for campaign.
“I went all out and sold my shares to finance my campaign. This is because there are no donations until now,” Sandiaga said at the headquarters of Prabowo-Sandi’s campaign team in Malang, East Java, Wednesday (12/5).
The funding needs of the Prabowo-Sandi pair are considered far greater than the incumbent. Political Observer from University of Indonesia Karim Suryadi said the incumbent is having more advantages than his rival. The incumbent does not need to spend more money on the campaign because he is already well known to the public.
Without even doing any campaign, the incumbent already has values that can be used for self-promotion. “There are activities that can be carried out by the incumbent, but cannot be carried out by his rival. For example by inaugurating toll roads, distributing certificates, etc,” he said, as quoted by Kompas TV, Wednesday (12/2).
This is why the incumbent pair Jokowi-Ma'uf did not seem too concerned about the amount of donations from their political parties. Although the total value of campaign funds that have been reported was slightly smaller than its rival, Jokowi-Ma’ruf’s campaign team did not appear to demand any contributions from the supporting parties. “It is indeed unethical for the candidate pair to talk about direct contributions from their supporting parties,” Deputy Chairman of Jokowi-Ma'ruf TKN Abdul Kadir Karding said.
He said working for victory is the duty of the supporting parties by mobilising the structure at the grassroots. The contribution of the political parties to the candidate pair does not have to be in the form of depositing money. Another contribution can be done through campaign props. Regarding campaign funds, TKN is obliged to look for funding sources that are lawful and allowed by the Election Law.
KPU does not limit the amount of campaign funds from each presidential and vice presidential pair. This also applies to their supporting parties. Restrictions are only applied to donations from other parties. “The limit is for donations coming from outside the candidate pairs and political parties, such as individuals,” KPU Commissioner Hasyim Asyari said in his office, Jakarta, Wednesday (1/2).
The restrictions are regulated in article 327 of Election Law No. 7/2017. The maximum limit of donations from individual sources is Rp 2.5 billion. Meanwhile, donations from groups and companies or non-government business entities should not exceed Rp 25 billion.