New governor election system, in which local people participate directly into the election, has made a significant change in local political arena of Indonesia. This is due to the fact that such decentralized electoral system has shifted the overwhelming authorities of the Local House of Representatives to a larger, local-wide public space. Such change was a logical consequence of the promulgation of the Act No. 32/2004 on local government in a multi-party political form. It is logical that problems related to direct local leader election eventually involve direct political activities of the people in playing their role as voters. It is particularly important to know the voters’ attitudes in order to understand their will towards the local leadership preference. Voters’ attitudes can determine responses of the candidates to winning or losing their elections. According to this brief explanation, this study attempted to find out factors that affected the loss of Sukawi-Sudharto in the Central Java Governor Election 2008 for Salatiga municipal ballots.
This study used an analytical descriptive approach in order to find out physical progress and frequence of particular social phenomenon that occurred during the election and to give in depth description of such phenomenon. To this end, the study applied such data collection techniques as interview, questioner dissemination, and observation.
The study identified factors that affected the loss of Sukawi-Sudharto in the Central Java Governor Election 2008 in Salatiga Municipality. Firstly, economic background was believed to affect the failure. It was not surprisingly because economic factor had become a key factor to the successful candidates. In other words, economic solutions were among prominent needs of most voters. Secondly, there were conflicting ideas between individuals in the candicacy success team due to disintegrated interests. Thirdly, the candidate duet, especially Sukawi, was suspected to corrupt the Local Expenditure Income Budget during his mayoral administration. The corruption case was widely publicized and, in turn, corrupting the duet’s confidence in competing the race for the Central Java Governor Election held on June 22th, 2008.
The above factors were identified in Salatiga Municipality, where Sukawi-Sudharto only finished third on the voting rank. The Salatiga electoral ballots resulted the following final counts: Bibit Waluyo-Rustriningsih (14,620 votes or 28.08%), Bambang Sadono-HM Adnan (18,305 or 22.11%), Sukawi-Sudharto (14,620 votes or 17.66%), Agus Soeyetno-Abdul Kholiq Arif (13,635 votes or 16.47%), HM Tamzil-Rozaq Rais (12,972 votes or 15.67%).
The study recommended that in order to gain success in the election, candidates need to put their electoral orientation of political commitment and policy on supreme priority since the people as their constituents directly give their aspiration in a common, independent, classified, honest, and fair manners toward peaceful democratization process.