Archipelago

Support for Teten’s gubernatorial
bid grows

Anticorruption activists and artists from Bandung, West Java, got together on Thursday to express their support for Teten Masduki, the secretary-general of Transparency International Indonesia (TII), to run in the West Java gubernatorial election scheduled for February.

Senior attorney cum anticorruption activist Dindin S. Maolani said Teten had a good reputation as a clean anticorruption activist.

“He has the popularity of a celebrity. Our incoming governor should be someone known by the public,” said Dindin during the gathering at the Gedung Indonesia Menggugat.

Tisna Sanjaya, a local artist, said Teten was the right person to bring changes to the province. He plans to donate his earnings from the sales of his paintings to support Teten’s campaign.

 Street children, who usually perform at the Simpang Dago traffic light, collected coins worth Rp 36,400 (US$3.8) as start-up capital for Teten’s political campaign. The coins were placed in a black plastic bag and handed over to Teten.

Having been backed by many people, Teten said that he was touched by the massive support. “I see great spirit. And I see this as an opportunity,” he said.

West Java, Teten said, could be a starting point for making changes in Indonesia since the province had a population of more than 40 million or one fifth of the total population of the country.

He cited his background as the Indonesian Corruption Watch head and his position with TII as evidence of his political ability.

“What I do is gather people to make a change. A popular movement, however, is not enough because we have to form a coalition with political parties,” Teten continued.

Teten is believed to be one of the candidates nominated by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) to run for the province’s top job. The party has not confirmed his or anyone else’s candidacy.

The Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party recently named Teten as its potential candidate in the election. Martin Hutabarat, a member of Gerindra’s central board, said that Gerindra would form a coalition to nominate Teten, as it lacked enough seats in the West Java Legislative Council (DPRD) to register Teten as a candidate by itself.

Even though he has gained support from many quarters, Teten said that he would still wait for PDI-P’s final decision.

He said he had spoken with people from PDI-P, including actress-turned-lawmaker Rieke Dyah Pitaloka, who has also expressed her intention to run in the election.

Incumbent Governor Ahmad Heryawan from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and his Deputy Governor Dede Yusuf of the Democratic Party are considered likely to launch reelection bids.

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