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SMRC: Ratna hoax will undermine undecided voter support for Prabowo

CNN Indonesia - October 7, 2018

Jakarta – Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) executive director Djayadi Hanan says that the Prabowo Subianto camp was the worst hit by the negative impact of Ratna Sarumpaet's lie about being assaulted.

Prabowo will have difficulties garnering votes from undecided voters and voters who are not reliable supporters of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo or swing voters.

"His image has become negative. This will make it difficult for Prabowo to garner votes from those who have not yet made up their minds", said Hanan at the SMRC offices in the Menteng suburb of Central Jakarta on Sunday October 7.

According to Hanan, up until now Prabowo has been promoting an image of a leader who is firm and understands the country's problems, particularly related to intelligence and state security.

Prabowo, who swallowed Sarumpaet's lies, will make the public, particularly undecided and swing voters rethink voting for him.

"Up until now Prabowo was seen as a strong leader, who truly understands [the country's] problems, understands issues of intelligence and security, because he's from the military. But now, Ratna's case has created a negative image", he said.

According to Hanan, this will not influence votes from Prabowo's militant supporters. The Sarumpaet scandal will in fact further strengthen their support for Prabowo and their defense of him.

"The Ratna issue will not result in Prabowo voters walking away, they will instead defend him", he said.

In the next few months, according to Hanan, Prabowo must be able to play up issues that are President Widodo's weak points. For example the depreciation in the value of the rupiah which is currently in the public spotlight.

"His move [should be] to play up other issues, such as the economy and other issues that can distract from this case", he said.

On the other hand, the Sarumpaet case may not necessarily increase Widodo's electoral support because undecided and swing voters will continue to make an assessment in the time remaining before the presidential election.

"The issue of the Ratna hoax will not necessarily increase Jokowi's electoral vote, it's not yet certain. Because it's not certain they will switch from Prabowo to Jokowi", he said. (fhr/gil)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was SMRC: Hoaks Ratna Sulitkan Prabowo Gandeng 'Undecided Voters'.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20181007175432-32-336447/smrc-hoaks-ratna-sulitkan-prabowo-gandeng-undecided-voters?.

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