The Jakarta Post
Cirebon mayor and Democratic Party member Nasrudin Azis declared his support for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s reelection bid on Saturday, despite his party being a member of the coalition behind Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto’s presidential campaign.
Nasrudin, who is also the head of the Democratic Party branch in Cirebon, West Java, said he felt that Jokowi should have the opportunity to continue the development program that he started in 2014.
“Because if [Jokowi] only gets one term then the work that has been arranged and directed for the advancement of Indonesia might stagnate,” he said in Cirebon on Saturday as quoted by kompas.com. “Jokowi needs to be given the chance to continue the development program for the next five years.”
He said he was ready to accept the consequences of supporting Jokowi, adding that he was sure his party would respect his decision.
“Of course every choice carries risk,” he said. “God willing, as fellow Indonesians, my friends from the same party who have made a different choice will be able to understand this personal stance of mine.”
Nasrudin is not the first Democrat to declare support for the incumbent. Former West Nusa Tenggara governor Muhammad Zainul Majdi, also known as Tuan Guru Bajang (TGB), former West Java deputy governor Deddy Mizwar and Papua Governor Lukas Enembe have declared their support for Jokowi.
While TGB has since left the party, Deddy and Lukas both remain in the party's ranks and have not been sanctioned by the party's leadership. Democrat executives have said certain party members will be exempt from campaigning for Prabowo and Sandiaga.
With over 47 million residents, West Java is Indonesia’s most populous province. With 97 percent of the population being Muslim, it is widely regarded as among the most religiously conservative provinces in the country.
During the 2014 elections, West Java was one of the 10 provinces that Prabowo won, garnering 59.7 percent of the vote compared to Jokowi’s 40.22 percent.
Several recent polls, however, have found that Jokowi has a slight lead in the province and his West Java regional campaign chairman Dedi Mulyadi has said the campaign targets to win 60 percent of the vote there. (kmt/ipa)