Candidates join gubernatorial
election race

As of Wednesday, two pairs of candidates had officially submitted their registration forms and other required documents to the Bali General Election Commission (KPUD), thus confirming their intent to participate in the upcoming Bali Gubernatorial Election, slated for July 9.

The two pairs include the Golkar-backed Cokorda Budi Suryawan, known as CBS, and his running mate Brig.Gen (ret) Nyoman Gede Suwetha, and the duo Gede Winasa and Gusti Bagus Alit Putera, who are backed by the Democrat Party and the Bali Awakening Coalition that comprises several minor political parties.

"What makes us determined to participate in the process is that we feel we have what it takes to improve conditions," CBS told reporters Wednesday.

KPUD Chairman AA Ngurah Oka Wisnumurti said the KPUD would verify the authenticity of documents handed over by the before declaring both pairs were official candidates for the upcoming election.

"After they pass the administrative tests, they will still have to undergo a health test that will be held at the Sanglah General Hospital next week," he said.

If one of the candidates is not able to continue in the election process due to a health reason, he added, the KPUD would give political parties a second chance to nominate another candidate.

Backed by five political parties -- including Golkar as the second largest political party on the resort island -- CBS and Suwetha claim to be able to win the election, adding they had proven they were capable through years of work experience as a bureaucrat and law enforcer respectively.

CBS was formerly a two-time elected Gianyar regent and Suwetha was a Bali police vice chief.

Commenting on the defeat suffered by a pair of Golkar candidates in the West Java governor election process, CBS said he was coordinating with other party members to evaluate and monitor weaknesses shown by the candidates during the election process.

Golkar has channeled its support to incumbent governor Danny Setiawan and his running mate Iwan Ridwan Sulandjana in the West Java governor election process, competing against two other pairs: Agum Gumelar/Nu'man Abdul Hakim and Ahmad Heryawan/Dede Yusuf.

As of time of print, Ahmad Heryawan and his running mate Dede Yusuf, who are backed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the National Mandate Party, have received more votes than their competitors and thus are claiming a temporary victory.

To some, the temporary defeat of Danny and Agum, who are backed by giant political parties like Golkar and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), indicates that West Java residents are favoring younger and fresher politicians that do not demonstrate conservative political practices displayed by politicians from Golkar and PDI-P.

"We will coordinate and evaluate the programs with other members to prevent a loss here," CBS said.

He said a series of programs, including question-and-answer sessions with potential voters in villages throughout the island, have been initiated to anticipate unnecessary problems that may arise in the upcoming election.

"The key is to deliver the message to the people that we do care for them, so they can truly believe in us as their political leaders to head the next administration. To be able to do this, there is no other way than to mingle with them during the process" he said.

Made Mangku Pastika and AA Ngr Puspayoga, the pair supported by the island's largest political party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), are expected to submit their registration forms on Friday.

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