Populism as Political Strategy in Candidate Selection: A Case of Ridwan Kamil’s Candidacy in the 2018 West Java Governatorial Election

  • Caroline Paskarina, Rina Hermawati, Nuraeni, Aditya Rahmadhany


This paper analyze how candidate uses populism as political strategy to gain political support from political parties in candidacy for local election. The authors use West Java Governatorial Election in 2018 as research setting, with focus on Ridwan Kamil as governor candidate. Although there were 7 other candidates, either runs as governor nor vice governor, Ridwan Kamil is the only candidate who applies figure-based populism strategy to win political parties support. Figure-based populism is defined as a strategy in offering programs according to public aspiration and mass mobilization with prioritizing political actor's personal quality. As a non-party political actor, Ridwan Kamil intends to compete in West Java Governor Election 2018 with the support of political parties. This article identifies the political strategy of Ridwan Kamil through populism perspective and aims to reveal how populism as a political strategy became the consideration for supporting political parties to choose Ridwan Kamil in the governor candidate selection process. The result shows that both candidate and political parties combined populism with parties’ values as a compromise to gain political support for candidacy in governatorial election. This finding offers new perspective to analyse how populism is translated into political support in candidate selection by political party.