The Jakarta Post
The ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has recommended President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, and Teguh Prakosa, the secretary of the party's branch in Surakarta, to run as a pair in the upcoming mayoral race in the Central Java city.
Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo, who confirmed news of the pairing, said Gibran and Teguh's nomination would be officially announced by the PDI-P through an online meeting Friday afternoon.
Rudy said he would attend the meeting together with executives from the Surakarta PDI-P office, including Teguh himself, as well as the President's son.
"As of now, we still don't know who will take the position of mayoral candidate and deputy mayor candidate [between Gibran and Teguh]," Rudy said.
The recommendation came following tensions in the one of the nationalist party's strongholds, which initially decided to nominate Achmad Purnomo, the current deputy mayor, and Teguh to the top of the ticket of the mayoral race. Their nomination seemed to have been backed by Rudy, who himself is the chairman of the PDI-P's Surakarta chapter.
Gibran, meanwhile, entered the race at the last minute, registering through the PDI-P's Central Java provincial chapter after learning that the party’s Surakarta chapter had wrapped up its candidate selection process.
Rudy said the final decision on the candidates for the Surakarta mayoral election lied with the PDI-P central board and therefore the party members in the city would support whoever was picked by party chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri.
"The central board must take their own considerations in issuing a recommendation, so we must support any candidate that is recommended," he added.
Teguh and Gibran separately confirmed that they had received on Thursday invitations from the central board in connection to their candidacies.
Gibran said he would depart for the PDI-P Central Java office in the provincial capital of Semarang to be present during the announcement of the nomination through a virtual meeting on Friday.
Contacted separately, Achmad said he was not surprised the central board would recommend Gibran and Teguh for the ticket, adding that he had predicted from the start that he would not be nominated in the race.
Achmad previously made public statements about dropping out of the race since April this year but Rudy subsequently insisted on rejecting his withdrawal on the grounds that members of PDI-P in the city wanted him to be on the ticket.
"I learned about [Gibran's nomination] from Pak Jokowi himself when I was summoned to the State Palace," Achmad said, "There's no problem."
He also asserted that he would not switch sides and choose other parties as his political vehicle to run in the race. "I’m 71 years old, I just want to enjoy my retirement." (afr)