The Jakarta Post
The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has nominated the daughter of Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, Siti Nur Azizah, and Ruhama Ben to run as the mayoral candidate pair in an upcoming race in South Tangerang, Banten.
The nomination, announced during the PKS’ national coordination meeting on Saturday, further demonstrates the cooling relations between the PKS and former ally the Gerindra Party.
Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s niece, Rahayu Saraswati, is running as a deputy mayor candidate alongside incumbent South Tangerang administrative secretary Muhamad. The Muhammad-Rahayu ticked is backed by Gerindra, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the NasDem Party and the Hanura Party.
The PKS and Gerindra have been longtime political allies, including in last year’s presidential elections, when the PKS backed Gerindra chairman Prabowo for the country’s top spot.
Their paths since the elections have diverged, however, as Gerindra joined President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s coalition while the PKS has continued to remain outside the government.
Prior to the PKS’ nomination, the Siti-Ruhama ticket had also received an official endorsement from the Democratic Party.
PKS chairman Sohibul Iman said the party’s and Dems’ endorsement of the pair was a form of coalition favoring national unity.
“Siti and Ruhama must pay attention to social harmony and pluralism,” Sohibul said on Saturday as quoted by kompas.com.
Sanuji Pentamarta, who helms the Banten chapter of the PKS, said his office would give the candidate pair its complete support.
“From this day on, every PKS representative in South Tangerang will automatically [and] completely support Siti and Ruhama,” Sanuji said. (rfa)