The Jakarta Post
Banyuwangi Regent Azwar Anas has decided to drop out of the East Java gubernatorial race after photos allegedly showing him in a compromising position with an unidentified women went viral on social media.
Azwar, who had been running alongside gubernatorial candidate Saifullah Yusuf, has returned the mandate to run in the election to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).
“I hereby return the mandate to bid for the East Java deputy governor position to the party,” Azwar said in a statement on Saturday. “I offer my sincere gratitude to Megawati Soekarnoputri, the PDI-P family and the Nahdliyin [NU members] who put their faith in me.”
In the statement, Azwar admitted that he had been facing challenges, such as intimidation and bribery attempts, while serving as Banyuwangi regent, but the tribulations as deputy gubernatorial candidate were harder yet.
“During the process of preparing to run as deputy governor in the East Java election, there have been several parties that used many ways [to foil my candidacy] to the detriment of my family’s dignity, the citizens of Banyuwangi and East Java and the ulemas who have been guiding me,” he said.
Azwar said he would continue to serve as Banyuwangi regent.
“I will keep striving together with the citizens of Banyuwangi to deliver prosperity to the region, as we have been doing for the last eight years,” Azwar said.
The PDI-P and the PKB have yet to release an official statement regarding Azwar’s withdrawal.
According to circulated information, the PDI-P secretary-general is set to call a meeting today with party chairwoman Megawati to discuss the matter. (nmn/ahw)