Ahok becomes Jakarta governor today
Corry Elyda and Fedina S. Sundaryani
The Jakarta Post
Acting Jakarta governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama will be inaugurated as the city's 17th governor for the period of 2012 to 2017 by President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday.
The Home Ministry's director general of regional autonomy, Djohermansyah Djohan, said on Tuesday that the presidential decree on Ahok's appointment as governor had been signed.
'The decree states that Ahok is appointed as the governor for the remaining period of 2012 to 2017,' he said.
Djohermansyah said Ahok would be sworn in by Jokowi, Ahok's former partner at City Hall, at 2 p.m.
City Secretary Saefullah confirmed that he had received the invitation letters for Wednesday's inauguration ceremony.
'We received 21 invitations for House of Representatives members from Jakarta, four invitations for Regional Representative Council members from Jakarta, five for former governors, for all 106 City Council members, 21 for city administration officials and 29 for Ahok's staff,' he said.
Commenting on his inauguration, Ahok, a father of three and spouse to Veronica Tan, said he did not make any special preparations for the ceremony. Ahok said he would use the uniform he wore when he was inaugurated deputy governor. 'The uniform and the shoes still fit me well,' he said.
Ahok, 48, will be the first Chinese-Indonesian to become the capital city's leader. He is also the second Christian governor, following Henk Ngantung who held the office from 1964 to 1965, to lead the predominantly Muslim city.
Because of his minority status, some groups objected to Ahok's appointment as governor, including the hard-line Islam Defenders Front (FPI). The City Council is also divided, with 57 councilors from several political parties ' the Gerindra Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Democratic Party, the United Development Party (PPP), the Golkar Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) ' wanting to select their own governor.
His blunt and sharp words have also earned Ahok some enemies in the bureaucracy and politics.
Muhammad Taufik of Gerindra, one of those avidly opposed to Ahok, said the coalition members would not attend the inauguration ceremony at the Presidential Palace.
However, as the inauguration time draws near, public support for Ahok keeps growing, including in Muslim communities.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said the police would deploy 3,800 of its 10,184 officers to secure the palace in Central Jakarta during Ahok's inauguration on Wednesday.
Born : East Belitung, June 29, 1966.
Education : - Undergraduate degree in geological engineering at Trisakti University, Jakarta.
- Graduate degree in management from Prasetiya Mulya Business School.
Career : Before entering politics, Ahok was a businessman in East Belitung.
From Belitung to Jakarta:
Ahok joins the New Indonesia Alliance Party (PPIB), founded by the late economist Syahrir, and became the chairman of the party's East Belitung chapter.
Elected to the East Belitung Council.
Regent of East Belitung on Belitung Island off Sumatra.
Resigns from his post to run in the provincial gubernatorial race in 2007.
March: Loses the Bangka Belitung election to Eko Maulana-Syamsuddin.
September: Resigns from the PPIB.
Joins the Golkar Party.
Elected as a House of Representatives member for Golkar and sat on Commission II.
Collects thousands of signatures from Jakartans to run in gubernatorial race as an independent candidate. He later changes his mind and decides to run through a political party.
March: Leaves Golkar and joins Gerindra to run with Jokowi in Jakarta's gubernatorial election.
October: Jokowi and Ahok are sworn into office by Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi during a special City Council plenary session.
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