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Jakarta Post

PSI, Gerindra join PDI-P in backing Jokowi's son for Surakarta mayoralty

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 7, 2020   /   07:03 am
PSI, Gerindra join PDI-P in backing Jokowi's son for Surakarta mayoralty President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son and Surakarta mayoral candidate Gibran Rakabuming Raka speaks to journalists at the regional headquarters of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle's (PDI-P) in Surakarta, Central Java, on July 17. (Antara/Mohammad Ayudha)

The Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) and the Gerindra Party have officially declared their support for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, to run in the upcoming Surakarta mayoral election in Central Java.

Antonius Yogo Prabowo, the head of the party's Surakarta chapter, said PSI chairwoman Grace Natalie had signed the recommendation letter for Gibran, whose nomination was backed by the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

"What's left now is only technical details; either Mas Gibran comes to the [PSI] executive board headquarters to get the letter or our representatives will go to Surakarta to deliver the letter to him," Yogo said on Thursday.

The PSI's confirmation came shortly after the Gerindra Party announced on Monday its decision to support the President's son in the mayoral race, following the signing of a recommendation letter by party chairman Prabowo Subianto and secretary-general Ahmad Muzani.

Gerindra executives had previously expressed their intention to support Gibran's ticket in the race even months before the PDI-P officially nominated Gibran to run as a pair with Teguh Prakosa, the secretary of the PDI-P's branch in Surakarta, in the city's mayoral election, slated to take place on Dec. 9.

Read also: Many Indonesians fed up with political dynasties: 'Kompas' survey

"We are firm in supporting Gibran and Teguh [in the race]," said Ardianto Kuswinarno, the head of Gerindra's branch in Surakarta, as quoted by kompas.com.

The PSI was among political parties supporting Jokowi's reelection in the 2019 presidential race, in which he went head-to-head with his erstwhile rival Prabowo and the Gerindra Party. The latter has since joined the ruling coalition, after Jokowi tapped Prabowo for the position of the defense minister in October last year.

Yogo of the PSI said that the party threw its support behind Gibran since, as a strong contender in the race, they saw that he had a clear vision and passion to build Surakarta.

He denied that Gibran's nomination for the race was part of establishing a political dynasty, arguing that the President's eldest son was not appointed to the position.

"We agreed that it's not a practice of political dynasty. As the son of the president, Gibran also has the right to vote and be elected," Yogo said.

"If he was appointed as a commissary of a state-own enterprise, a minister or any other public position, maybe we could have called it a form of political dynasty, but he will compete fairly [in the election]; the people have the freedom to choose him or not," he added. (nal)