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Jakarta Post

PDI-P may pair Gibran and Achmad for Surakarta mayoral race

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, December 31, 2019   /   09:34 pm
PDI-P may pair Gibran and Achmad for Surakarta mayoral race Young entrepreneur Gibran Rakabuming Raka promotes a traditional sweet drink during the grand opening of Goola, one of his culinary brands, on Sept. 16, 2018, in Cikini, Central Jakarta. (JP /Ni Nyoman Wira)

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) is considering pairing President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's son Gibran Rakabuming Raka and Surakarta deputy mayor Achmad Purnomo in the upcoming Surakarta mayoral election in Central Java.

PDI-P executive Ahmad Basarah said the pair could be nominated by the country's largest party.

"All options are possible because in [Surakarta], the PDI-P can support candidates without having to form a coalition with other parties. That is very possible. But again, we are all still waiting for our internal processes," Basarah said on Tuesday.

Basarah said there were two general options available for the Surakarta mayoral election: pairing two party members or pairing a PDI-P member and a non-PDI-P figure.

The party is still surveying the registered prospective candidates for all regions, including Surakarta.

The assessment will be based on various criteria, including organization, leadership, party ideology, popularity and electability.

“We are still waiting for the internal survey process, which is one of our decision-making tools. Gibran, Bobby [Jokowi’s son-in-law] and others have the same opportunity to get the ticket,” he said.

Jokowi's son-in-law Bobby Afif Nasution has announced that he will run in the Medan mayoral election and has sought the nomination of both the PDI-P and Golkar Party. 

Recently, hundreds of PDI-P supporters rallied in Surakarta to support the nomination of Achmad in the mayoral race and reject Gibran.

While the PDI-P is still considering Gibran, some parties have declared their interest in supporting him in the Surakarta race, such as the NasDem Party, the Democratic Party, the United Development Party (PPP) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

Basarah responded positively to the parties’ interest in Gibran, “The PDI-P is open to cooperate with all political parties in the election.”

NasDem Party executive Saan Mustopa said that that his party did not have an incumbent candidate in Surakarta and might therefore support Gibran as he was a popular candidate in the race.

A survey by the public policy laboratory of Surakarta’s Slamet Riyadi University in July 2019 showed that 90 percent of respondents knew Gibran. In terms of electability, Achmad topped the list (38 percent), followed by Gibran (13 percent).

"Instead of avoiding political dynasties and looking for other candidates with a slim chance of winning, why can't we nominate someone who has a good chance to win?" Saan said.