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Jakarta Post

Megawati will let me choose deputy: Ahok

  • Dewanti A. Wardhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, November 28, 2014   /  07:53 am

Jakarta Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama had a closed-door meeting with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri at her residence in Jl. Teuku Umar in Central Jakarta on Thursday.

The two, Ahok said, had discussed candidates for his deputy governor. Rumors have been heard around the city that Megawati officially endorsed PDI-P politician Boy Sadikin as Ahok'€™s deputy. Boy Sadikin is the son of a former Jakarta governor, the late Ali Sadikin, and was City Council deputy speaker during the 2009-2014 period.

'€œBu Mega denied that she endorsed Pak Boy [...] In fact, she told me that I should not have a '€˜forced marriage'€™ with my deputy,'€ Ahok told reporters at City Hall in Central Jakarta on Thursday after the 45-minute meeting.

Ahok has said that he preferred seasoned civil servants to politicians for the deputy position. He repeatedly said that Sarwo '€œYani'€ Handayani, currently serving as head of the Governor'€™s Team for Development Supervision (TGUPP), was a name that he had in mind. Ahok has maintained his preference for Yani due to her honesty, good work ethic and clean track record.

Ahok is entitled to choose his deputy according to government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) No. 1/2014 Article 170, paragraph one, which stipulates that a deputy governor, regent or mayor must be chosen one month after the inauguration of the governor, regent or mayor at the latest.

According to Article 168, Jakarta can have two or three deputy governors, considering its population size. However, Ahok has also said that he would prefer only one deputy on top of the existing four operational deputies who are each assigned to a particular issue.

The Home Affairs Ministry is scheduled to issue a government regulation (PP) soon to regulate the Perppu. Without the PP, Ahok cannot use the Perppu to back his decision.

'€œBu Mega and I discussed several potential candidates [...] but I'€™m sure that [Megawati] is supportive of whoever I choose,'€ Ahok said, refusing to answer reporters'€™ queries on the identities of the candidates.

Separately, Yani said that she was willing and ready if Ahok promoted her to deputy governor. '€œWhoever is chosen as deputy governor must be ready to work right away [...],'€ Yani told reporters at City Hall
on Thursday.

Political experts have said that Ahok'€™s preference for non-politicians may further strain his relationship with the City Council. Many councilors have called on Ahok to choose his deputy from the PDI-P or Gerindra, the two parties that endorsed Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo and Ahok during the 2012 gubernatorial election.

Previously, Surabaya Mayor Tri '€œRisma'€ Rismaharini faced the same sort of situation that Ahok is now confronted with. When her deputy position was vacant, the Surabaya legislative council in November 2013 chose Wisnu Sakti Buana to fill the spot. Wisnu was a Surabaya city councilor from PDI-P from 2009 to 2014.

Risma was against the '€œforced marriage'€ and even threatened to resign. As a councilor, Wisnu was known to be often at odds with Risma'€™s policy.