The Jakarta Post
Several local members of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) have expressed their disapproval of the party's decision to nominate President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's son-in-law, Bobby Afif Nasution, for the Medan mayoral race in North Sumatra.
They created the PDIP 98 Exponent Forum to show support for Medan acting mayor and former PDI-P senior politician Akhyar Nasution, who was initially a strong contender to be nominated for the upcoming election.
"We set up the forum [to represent] members of the party who are disappointed that the party nominated a non-cadre for the mayoral race," forum head Gumana Lubis told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
PDI-P executive Puan Maharani announced on Tuesday that the party would nominate Bobby and Gerindra Party politician Aulia Rahman to respectively run for mayor and deputy mayor in Medan. Bobby officially joined the PDI-P in March in a bid to contest the race.
In late July, Akhyar switched parties from the PDI-P to the Democratic Party after the ruling party refused to back him in the city’s mayoral election. Akhyar's candidacy is backed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the Democratic Party.
Gumana, who also heads the party’s Medan Johor branch, predicted that 60 percent of traditional PDI-P voters in Medan would likely vote for Akhyar, as both Bobby and Aulia are non-cadres.
"Akhyar is a Marhaenist who is close to [a lot of] the party’s members. Our support for him grew after [we saw him] receive unfair treatment [from the party]," he said.
Marhaenism is a socialistic political ideology that originated in Indonesia and emphasizes national unity, culture and collectivist economics.
The head of the PDI-P's Medan executive board (DPC), Hasyim, told the Post that only a handful of members opposed Bobby’s and Aulia’s nomination.
“Most party members gladly accept and fully support the decision.”
Hasyim added that the pair was a very strong contender in the December election. Besides the PDI-P and Gerindra, the pair is backed by the Golkar Party, NasDem Party, Hanura Party, United Development Party (PPP) and the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI).
"I'm optimistic that the pair nominated by the PDIP-Gerindra coalition will win in the Medan mayoral election," he said, adding that the Bobby and Aulia reminded him of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who won the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election.
Hasyim said the PDIP-Gerindra coalition had a strategic meaning for the 2024 presidential election.
Meanwhile, Bobby's nomination came after Jokowi's eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, secured his ticket with the PDI-P to run in the Surakarta mayoral race in Central Java. (nal)