Gibran-Teguh gather support after PDIP blessing

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General Chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP)’s Central Leadership Council Puan Maharani announced Gibran Rakabuming Raka and Teguh Prakosa as Mayor and Vice Mayor Candidates of the city of Solo. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – The General Chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP)’s Central Leadership Council Puan Maharani announced the list of 45 Regional Head Candidates the Party will be supporting in the upcoming 2020 Simultaneous Regional Elections. Among the names are Gibran Rakabuming Raka and Teguh Prakosa as Candidates for Mayor and Vice Mayor of Solo. The announcement, which was made virtually on Friday (17/07/2020), was also witnessed by PDIP’s General Chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri. 

Gibran’s candidacy is supported by several parties. Chairman of the Functional Group (Golkar) Party’s Central Java Regional Leadership Council (DPD) Iqbal Wibisono expressed his party’s decision to support Gibran for the Mayoralty of Solo for 2020. Golkar did not submit any candidate to run with him. They support member of the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) of the Municipality of Solo from PDIP, Teguh Prakosa, as Candidate Vice Mayor of Solo instead. Golkar has also announced its absolute support for Gibran for the Elections through its Vice General Chairman, Ahmad Doli Kurnia. 

Gerindra Party also expressed its support for Gibran via its General Chairman, Prabowo Subianto, who requests that the party supports President Joko Widodo’s eldest son. Prabowo’s wish to support Gibran was also echoed by his cadres, including Gerindra’s Vice General Chairman Sufmi Dasco Ahmad. “Mr. Prabowo declared this endorsement because Gerindra is one of the parties making up President Jokowi’s support. Furthermore, our party’s internal survey shows that Gibran is the strongest candidates,” he said. 

National Mandate Party (PAN)’s General Secretary Eddy Soeparno stated that his party supports Gibran because he has a strong electability supported with a large impact of “Jokowi effect” in Surakarta. “That’s Mr. Jokowi’s hometown. He became mayor there once, and has gone on successfully from there,” he said. “Furthermore, like his father, Gibran is a local born and grew up in Solo. A lot of local people should feel proud and elect them in the upcoming Regional Elections.” 

Chairman of National Awakening Party (PKB)’s DPP Ahmad Iman stated that his party has unanimously agreed to support Gibran at the upcoming Regional Elections from the start. PKB’s DPP has requested the party’s lower administration ensure Gibran-Teguh’s victory. “We are certain this Candidate Pair will win. All of our lower cadres will work hard to ensure their victory,” he said. 

Meanwhile, United Development Party (PPP)’s General Secretary Arsul Sani said that his party will support Gibran-Teguh in the upcoming Regional Elections in December. Younger PPP cadres at the lower level have supported Gibran from the start – they are actively socializing his candidacy and giving him support via social media. Noting the political reality at the lower levels, the party decided to accept Gibran-Teguh and support them. “The support in Solo is purely based on the initiative of our younger cadres. If the lower levels have given their support, we follow through,” he said. 

Preventing Single Candidacy 

PDIP is the party with the biggest support in Solo, with 30 out of the total 45 seats available in the DPRD. The second most powerful is the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) with 5 seats, the third position is shared between Golkar, Gerindra, and PAN, 3 seats each, with the remaining seat held by the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI). The administrative requirement for a party or party consortium to submit a Candidate Pair is a minimum of 20% of seats in DPRD or at least 9 seats for the Solo Regional Elections. 

Chairman of PKS’ Regional Management Council of Central Java Abdul Fikri Faqih stated that his party’s first priority for the 2020 Mayoralty Elections in Solo is to prevent the condition of single candidacy. Therefore, PKS is still seeking alternative candidates to oppose Gibran. “If there is only a single Candidate Pair with no alternatives, the people’s freedom to choose is muzzled. However, PKS needs to maintain intense communication to support a candidate, when most of the other parties have expressed their support of Gibran,” he said. 

Without forming a coalition, PKS will never be able to support any Candidate Pair to challenge Gibran. The only available Candidate Pair that might oppose him is the independent Candidate Pair Bagyo Wahyono-F. X. Sutardjo, currently in the middle of having the 28,000 statement of support letters that they gained verified. They still need another 7,000 letters of support before they can enter the elections as individuals, and they have until 27 July to get them. 

Other than PKS, the Democrat Party also does not support Gibran for the Solo Regional Elections. However, with lack of seats in the DPRD and the fact that Democrat voters’ base in Solo practically nonexistent, it is hard for the two parties to support any rival to Gibran without making a coalition with other parties. 

In the Limelight 

The fact that Gibran Rakabuming Bumi is the candidate endorsed by PDIP in the 2020 Solo Regional Elections is notable. Other than being the president’s son, Gibran is a relatively new member of the party. Some consider his entry into the Solo Elections to be a gamble on President Jokowi’s family. 

Gadjah Mada University’s political observer Kuskridho “Dodi” Ambardi thinks that PDIP’s move to recommend that Gibran be nominated for the 2020 Solo Regional Elections is a bad one. “It might cause jealousy and a sense of injustice among cadres, because they might see it as Gibran being given special treatment (as the President’s son),” he said. 

Gibran’s candidacy as Mayor has gone through a number of dynamics. For example, PDIP’s Branch Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Cabang – “DPC”) for Solo insisted on supporting Achmad Purnomo-Teguh Prakosa as Candidate Pair, while Gibran submitted himself as Candidate for Mayoralty of Surakarta through PDIP’s DPD of Central Java. (Dan)