The Jakarta Post
The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has announced that it will nominate acting Medan mayor Akhyar Nasution as its candidate for the Medan mayoral election in North Sumatra later this year.
Akhyar, who leads the North Sumatra branch of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), is set to square off against President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s son-in-law, Bobby Afif Nasution.
PKS regional chairperson in North Sumatra, Hariyanto, conveyed the party’s support for Akhyar following the acting mayor’s visit to his office on Tuesday evening.
“God willing, PKS will stand by Bang Akhyar,” Hariyanto said after a private meeting with the incumbent mayor and Democratic Party regional chairperson Burhanuddin Sitepu.
In addition to PKS’ nomination, Akhyar has already secured backing from the Democratic Party. Since the PKS and the Dems have gained a combined total of 11 seats on the Medan Legislative Council, the two parties have exceeded the minimum 10-seat requirement for Akhyar’s nomination as a mayoral candidate.
“We will walk hand-in-hand as a coalition. As for [the deputy mayor candidate], it’s entirely up to the PKS leaders to decide,” Akhyar said.
Separately, the PDI-P’s North Sumatra branch acting chairperson Djarot Saiful Hidayat said the party would announce several regional head candidates in North Sumatra on Friday.
“On Jul. 17, the PDI-P will virtually announce 15 regional head candidates,” Djarot said during an online event on Monday, while calling on every party member to respect the party’s decision.
In February, the NasDem Party confirmed its plan to nominate Bobby as its Medan mayoral candidate.
NasDem chairman Surya Paloh said the party had decided to give its support to Bobby because the latter had earned the top spot in the party’s recent internal survey.
The President’s son-in-law registered with the NasDem’s North Sumatra branch on Jan. 22 to run in the mayoral election. Aside from NasDem, Bobby had also registered with the PDI-P and the Golkar Party. (rfa)