The Jakarta Post
West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Governor Muhammad Zainul Majdi, also known as Tuan Guru Bajang (TGB), has resigned from the Democratic Party a few weeks after declaring his support for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
“It’s true, I resigned a few days ago,” TGB confirmed on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.
He said he submitted his resignation letter to Democrat high council secretary Amir Syamsuddin, but declined to provide the reasons for his resignation, saying only that they were "personal”.
Meanwhile, Democrat deputy secretary-general Rachland Nashidik released a separate statement on Monday, wishing TGB well in his future endeavors.
TGB will end his term as NTB governor in September and has been widely touted as a potential running mate for Jokowi.
“We pray that his new status as a nonpartisan Muslim cleric will lead him on a path to a better political career as one of Pak Jokowi’s [potential] vice presidential candidates,” Rachland said.
The defection is seen as a coup for Jokowi, with analysts saying that TGB’s reputation as a respected Muslim scholar could help boost Jokowi’s electability among conservative Muslim voters.
TGB supported Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto in the 2014 presidential election. His support for Jokowi came as a surprise, especially as it was at odds with the Democrats' policy.
The Democrats have yet to declare support for either the President or his main contender Prabowo, but appear to have drawn closer to Gerindra, with a meeting between Democrat chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prabowo scheduled for Tuesday night. (kmt)