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Jakarta Post

Coalition eyes Gus Dur’s daughter for East Java election

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 3, 2018   /   02:15 pm
Coalition eyes Gus Dur’s daughter for East Java election Wahid Foundation director Yenny Wahid speaks during the launch of #PositionOfStrength in cooperation with Twitter Indonesia in this file photo. (Antara/Arindra Meodia)

The coalition of the Gerindra Party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the National Mandate Party (PAN) is considering to endorse the daughter of late former president Abdurrahman Wahid, Zannuba Ariffah Chafsoh Rahman Wahid, known as Yenny, as a governor candidate in the 2018 East Java gubernatorial election.

Gerindra deputy chairman Ferry Juliantono confirmed Wednesday that the party was considering to back Yenny in the race for the top post of the country’s second most populous province.

“There is a possibility that we will go in that direction,” he told The Jakarta Post.

PKS deputy secretary-general Mardani also admitted that Yenny was among the names to be a potential candidate.

"Yenny is among the names appearing in our discussions. We want an alternative figure who has the potential to win," he said.

If the coalition supports Yenny, she will likely be a rival of the pair Khofifah Indar Parawansa-Emil Dardak, endorsed by the Golkar Party, the Democratic Party, the NasDem Party and United Development Party (PPP), and the pair Saifullah "Gus Ipul" Yusuf-Abdullah Azwar Anas, backed by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the National Awakening Party (PKB).

Yenny, Saifullah and Khofifah all have affiliations with the country’s biggest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama, which has a stronghold in East Java.

Mardani claimed that the coalition aimed to challenge President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in the 2019 presidential election with their choice.

"We all know that both Gus Ipul and Khofifah have big potential to support Jokowi in 2019, while we [PKS and Gerindra] want to challenge the incumbent in the presidential election. Victory in the East Java election is part of the scenario for the presidential contest," Mardani said. (kmt)