The Jakarta Post
Several regional branches of the United Development Party (PPP) are promoting former Jakarta deputy governor and businessman Sandiaga Uno to be their next party chairman.
Voting for the chairmanship will take place during the party’s congress, which is slated for mid-December.
PPP deputy secretary-general Achmad Baidowi said Sandiaga was one of several names submitted by the party’s branch executive boards (DPC) to lead the party. Other names include acting party chairman and National Development Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa and former East Java deputy governor Saifullah "Gus Ipul" Yusuf
"Several DPCs mentioned Sandiaga’s name. It wasn’t me who proposed his name,” Baidowi told the press on Monday.
PPP secretary-general Arsul Sani uploaded a picture with Sandiaga on his Instagram account @arsul_sani_af on Monday. However, he told journalists that the meeting shown in the photo, which took place on Oct. 23, had nothing to do with the demands from party members for Sandiaga to be PPP chairman.
Sandiaga is currently one of the Gerindra Party’s deputy chairs. He took the position several months after running as a vice-presidential candidate alongside current Defense Minister and Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto in the 2019 presidential election. The pair lost to incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate Ma’ruf Amin.
Responding to the issue, Gerindra executive Sufmi Dasco Ahmad said the party would let Sandiaga decide whether he wanted to accept the demand or not. He went on to say that this was not the first time the businessman was offered the chairmanship of a political party, as Sandiaga has high electability prospects.
"However, we still hope that Sandi will remain in our big family. We’re sure that Sandi will not accept offers from other parties,” Dasco said.
Sandiaga's spokesperson, Kawendra Lukistian, said he was sure that Sandiaga would not accept the offer, asserting that the businessman was loyal to his party.
“Sandiaga is on good terms with Prabowo, [Sufmi] Dasco and other Gerindra executives.”
The PPP has been in a leadership crisis since the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named former chairman Muhammad "Romy" Romahurmuziy a suspect in a bribery case connected to the Religious Affairs Ministry in March 2019
The party has been losing voters as a result. In the 2019 legislative elections, PPP only secured 6.3 million votes or 4.25 percent of the vote, a significant drop from the 8.1 million votes it garnered in the 2014 legislative elections.