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Jakarta Post

Prabowo's niece to run for deputy mayor in South Tangerang race

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, July 21, 2020   /   04:34 pm
Prabowo's niece to run for deputy mayor in South Tangerang race Rahayu "Sara" Saraswati, a Gerindra politician and Prabowo's niece, speaks during a meeting at the House of Representatives in this undated file photo. (Kompas.com/File)

Rahayu Saraswati Djojohadikusumo, a former TV presenter and legislator who is also a niece of Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, has been nominated as the deputy mayor candidate in the upcoming regional election in South Tangerang, Banten.

Rahayu, a politician of the Gerindra Party that her uncle chairs, has been paired with incumbent South Tangerang administrative secretary Muhamad in their mayoral bid with the endorsement of Gerindra and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

Prabowo announced the candidate pair on Monday evening at his residence, with PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto in attendance. 

"May they [Muhamad and Rahayu] fight hard to defend and prioritize the interests of the people, as well as the progress and welfare of the people of South Tangerang," said the former 2014 and 2019 presidential candidate as quoted by kompas.com.

Read also: PDI-P recommends Prabowo’s niece for South Tangerang mayoral race

Rahayu is the daughter of Prabowo’s youngest brother, businessman Hashim Djojojadikusumo. She previously served in the 2014-2019 session of the House of Representatives but failed to secure a seat in her 2019 reelection bid.

Following the announcement, Gerindra South Tangerang executive chair Li Claudia Candra told tribunnews.com that she had called on all members and supporters of the party to promote the mayoral candidates.

Meanwhile, executive chair Wanto Sugito of PDI-P's South Tangerang branch said that the mayoral pair should expect the party to issue its official recommendation letter this week, noting that Hasto's presence at the announcement signaled the party's green light.

Wanto also made assurances that the Hanura Party would join "the coalition" soon.

Combined, the three parties have 17 seats in the South Tangerang Legislative Council, which meets the minimum 20 percent requirement – or 10 of the total 50 council seats – for a party to nominate a candidate.

Read also: 'Is it because I'm a woman?': Gerindra lawmaker fumes over prayer reading snub

Earlier, Hanura had said that it would support Muhamad's pairing with a running mate from the Indonesia Solidarity Party. On Monday, however, executive chair Amar of Hanura's South Tangerang branch said the party had shifted its support to Rahayu, as reported by tribunnews.com.

South Tangerang municipality is among the 270 regencies and municipalities slated to elect their new leaders in the simultaneous regional elections in December. The city, considered a growing and hip satellite city of Jakarta, has attracted a number of electoral hopefuls, including incumbent deputy mayor Benyamin Davnie and Siti Nur Azizah, who is a daughter of Vice President Ma'ruf Amin.

Political analysts have raised concern that this year's regional elections could give rise to a new generation of political dynasties.

Aside from Prabowo's niece and the Vice President's daughter, the elections will also see Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the 32-year-old eldest son of President Joko Widodo, running for mayor with PDI-P backing in their hometown of Surakarta, Central Java. (mfp)