Rieke-Teten to run for
W. Java election

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has named one of its lawmakers, Rieke Dyah Pitaloka, and anticorruption activist Teten Masduki as its candidates for West Java governor and deputy governor, respectively.

PDI-P secretary-general Tjahjo Kumolo announced Thursday that his party would not form a coalition with other parties in the West Java gubernatorial election, slated for February 2013. Tjahjo said that the decision was made during an internal meeting led by PDI-P chairwoman and former president Megawati Soekarnoputri.

“The PDI-P will solely endorse Rieke and Teten,” he said at the party’s headquarters in Lenteng Agung, South Jakarta.

Tjahjo’s statement refuted speculation that PDI-P would form a coalition with the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party, which also named Teten as its gubernatorial candidate. With 17 seats in the West Java Legislative Council, the PDI-P is one of three parties besides the Democratic Party (28 seats) and the Golkar Party (16 seats) that can field their own candidates without having to form a coalition with other parties.

Current regulation requires political parties to have at least 15 seats in the council before they can endorse their own candidates.

Tjahjo said the party had instructed its members in West Java, home to more than 43 million people and the most populous province in the country, to start campaigning and collecting support for Rieke-Teten.

Actress-turned-politician Rieke is widely known for her role as an innocent and obedient housewife named Oneng in popular sitcom Bajaj Bajuri. She started her political career with the National Awakening Party (PKB) before joining the PDI-P.

Teten, meanwhile, is no new name in the corruption eradication struggle in the country. He was one of the founders of the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) in 1998. For the past four years, Teten has been the secretary-general of Transparency International Indonesia (TII).

A statement released by TII on Thursday said that Teten officially resigned from his position this month. Natalia Soebagjo will replace him as the acting TII secretary-general.

On the same day, incumbent West Java Deputy Governor Yusuf Macan Effendi, popularly known as Dede Yusuf, announced that he had chosen former West Java regional secretary Lex Laksamana as his running mate for the election.

Yusuf is backed by the Democratic Party, the largest faction in the legislative council. The Democratic Party said that it might form a coalition with the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the PKB.

Incumbent Ahmad Heryawan of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has announced that he will seek a second term in office. The PKS, which has 13 seats in the legislative council, needs to form a coalition with another party, likely the United Development Party (PPP), which has eight seats. The PKS has yet to announce Ahmad’s running mate in the election.

The West Java General Elections Commission (KPU) opened registration for gubernatorial candidates on Tuesday and will close it on Saturday.

As of Thursday, independent pair of Ins. Gen. (ret.) Dikdik Mulyana Arief Mansur and running mate former Indramayu secretary Cecep Nana Suryana Toyib became the only official gubernatorial candidate pair for the upcoming election.

As independent candidates, Dikdik, former South Sumatra Police chief, and Cecep, former Indramayu regional secretary must secure at least 1,474,614 valid signatures from residents living in 14 regencies and cities. (han/lfr)

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