The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, has pushed back on claims his plans to run for mayor of Surakarta, Central Java, in the 2020 local election marks the beginning of a new political dynasty. He said his decision to run for office was motivated by a desire to help people.
“People ask me, why don’t you wait for Bapak [Jokowi] to finish his term as president [before running for office]. That’s too long. Now is the moment [to run for office],” Gibran said at a talk show organized by Banteng Muda Indonesia (Young Bull), the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) internship program, on Sunday.
“Perhaps people are talking about a political dynasty. I am only participating in a [political] contest, I could be elected or not. I could win or lose. If this is really a political dynasty, I would have asked for a minister position or something a while ago,” Gibran added as quoted by kompas.com.
He admitted he had once said he did not want to enter politics, but as time progressed, he said he realized that as a young person, he was in a position to change the mindset that politics was a dirty business.
“If it’s not young people that change things, it will not be possible. This is a moment for young people, as movers not as objects to be moved,” Gibran said.
Gibran is currently preparing to run for Surakarta mayor in the 2020 election, and has registered as a PDI-P party member, like his father.
However, it appears unlikely Gibran will be able to run on the PDI-P Surakarta ticket, as the party chapter has chosen Surakarta Deputy Mayor Achmad Purnomo and Teguh Prakosa, the Surakarta City Council speaker for the 2015-2020 term.
However, according to PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto, Gibran could still run with the backing of PDI-P Central Java or the PDI-P central board.
Gibran has also sought the endorsement of PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri, with the two recently meeting in Jakarta. (ami/evi)