Democratic Party in chaos over gubernatorial candidate selection
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The final day of registration for gubernatorial hopefuls at the North Sumatra General Elections Commission (KPUD) in Medan on Friday was marred by chaos due to a conflict of interest between the central government and provincial administration.
The incident ensued when two candidate pairs from the Democratic Party were equally determined to register at the KPUD as they claimed that they had obtained support from the Democratic Party Central Executive Board in Jakarta.
The pairs are Deli Serdang Regent, Amri Tambunan, and his running mate, former North Sumatra provincial secretary R.E. Nainggolan, and Let. Gen. (ret.) Cornel Simbolon pairing with North Sumatra Democratic Party Regional Representatives Council (DPD) head, T. Milwan.
A team from the Democratic Party Central Board (DPP) had reportedly arrived in Medan to mediate both candidate pairs ahead of the final day of registration at the KPUD.
The arrival of the DPP team was in part an attempt to address the alleged corruption accusation against Amri during his tenure as Deli Serdang regent. In his clarification to the team, Amri said he was willing to write a statement letter to the Democratic Party DPP that the allegation was untrue.
On the basis of the statement, the Democratic Party DPP eventually approved Amri’s gubernatorial nomination pairing with Nainggolan, they registered at the KPUD at around 4:30 p.m. local time. However, the event was marred by disorder as people pushed and shoved resulting in a smashed glass door.
North Sumatra Democratic Party head T. Milwan denied there was any friction relating to the gubernatorial candidacy within the party. Milwan said Amri and Nainggolan were to register at the KPUD because the decision letter from the party’s DPP had yet to be issued.
“I just received the decision letter from the Democratic Party DPP approving Amri and Nainggolan’s nomination this morning,” said Milwan, the former Labuhanbatu regent.
When asked to comment on the difficulties faced as a gubernatorial alleged corruption within the Deli Serdang Public Works Office, Amri said the case was currently being processed in court.
“So far, prosecutors have not summoned me regarding the allegations. This proves that I am not involved,” he said after registering at the KPUD on Friday.
Amri and Nainggolan were the last gubernatorial candidates to register at the KPUD.
Earlier in the day, Effendi Simbolon and Jumiran Abdi, nominated by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), National People’s Concern Party (PPRN) and Prosperous Peace Party (PDS), registered at the KPUD. The pair was reportedly forced to unite by the PDI-P DPP only a day before registering.
The North Sumatra PDI-P had nominated Nainggolan and Muhammad Affan, but they were rejected by the PDI-P DPP on the grounds that Nainggolan was not a PDI-P cadre.
Effendi denied that he had been forced to pair with Jumiran, former North Sumatra KPUD member. According to him, their candidacy had been approved by PDI-P chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri and will be declared at the end of the month.
Another pair who registered on Friday were Gus Irawan Pasaribu and Soekirman, backed by the National Mandate Party (PAN), Gerindra Party and other minor parties.
North Sumatra KPUD head Irham Buana Nasution said the five candidate pairs had passed verification and were entitled to take part in the election scheduled for March 7, 2013. Irham added they would undergo medical examinations for two days at the Adam Malik Hospital, starting Saturday.