Anas promises fair selection of party’s nominees for poll
Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum vowed he would not show favoritism in nominating party candidates for the North Sumatra gubernatorial election.
“All candidate hopefuls will be supported, whether or not they are Democratic Party members. Each of them has a chance to gain our support,” Anas told the media as he arrived at Polonia International Airport in Medan, North Sumatra, on Friday.
He and a number of party executives, among them Jhony Allen Marbun, Soetan Bathugana and Ramadhan Pohan, were in Medan to inaugurate the Deli Serdang and Serdang Bedagai regencies’ branch executives board. Anas planned to stay overnight in Medan before continuing on to Aceh on Saturday.
The Democratic Party will have to pick one from a provisional list of eight prospective nominees.
They are former Indonesian Military (TNI) Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) chief, Let. Gen. (ret.) A.Y. Nasution; Bank Sumut managing director Gus Irawan Pasaribu; Deli Serdang Regent Amri Tambunan; Serdang Bedagai Regent T. Erry Nuradi; House of Representatives’ member Soetan Bathugana; North Sumatra Regional Representatives Council (DPD) chairman and Democratic Party legislator, T. Milwan; North Sumatra legislator Nurhasanah; and Benny Pasaribu. Four of them are members of the Democratic Party.
Anas said all eight could be worthy of being nominated as North Sumatra gubernatorial candidates from the party.
“The Democratic Party will conduct a survey to determine the electability or voter appeal of each of the candidates. The party will decide a nominee based on his popularity from the survey,” he said, adding that the survey would be conducted by an independent institution.
Secretary of the Democrats’ North Sumatra branch, Tahan Manahan Panggabean, who is also a member of the gubernatorial candidate selection team, said the final decision on the nomination would come from the party’s patron, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“We can only recommend someone, but the final decision is in the hands of Pak Yudhoyono,” said Tahan.
The North Sumatra gubernatorial election will be held on March 7, 2013.
Other political parties are also determining their candidates, with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) having yet to decide among six hopefuls, including North Sumatra secretary R.E. Nainggolan and state power company PT PLN executive, Bintatar Hutabarat. The Golkar Party is due to open registration on Tuesday.