Solo Mayoral Candidates bow out: A red carpet for Gibran?

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Achmad Purnomo and Gibran Rakabuming Raka. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – After the government and the election organizer officials announced the Simultaneous Regional Elections originally scheduled for September 23 were to be postponed to December 9, 2020, Achmad Purnomo, a prospective candidate for Mayor of Solo, confirmed his withdrawal from the Solo elections for 2020. The Deputy Mayor of Solo had already submitted his own resignation letter to the Chairperson of the DPC PDI-P of Solo Branch, FX Hadi Rudyatmo, on Thursday (05/28/2020). Pramono argued that the rationale behind his action of returning the mandate as a candidate for mayor to the bearer party was because he could not bear to carry on with the Simultaneous Regional Elections 2020 in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. “If my will is granted, Alhamdulillah, I will resign. If my will is not granted, then I will wait for further instructions. I am a party cadre after all,” Purnomo explained. 

According to him, if the elections are still going to be held this year, he would feel uncomfortable taking part in the nomination process in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic (bearing in mind that the pandemic is unlikely to end this year. He claimed he could not stand to witness those who’d fallen victim to the Coronavirus pandemic at this time. “This is actually a matter of feeling. I just don’t have the heart, being obligated to carry out campaign activities, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic that hasn’t ended yet at this moment,” he said. 

Purnomo stressed that his resignation was not related to pressure, or political problems, but derived purely from his conscience. “I do not want to think about the elections first, I would instead prefer just to postpone them until the Coronavirus pandemic ends,” explained Poernomo. 

A month before he submitted his resignation letter, he claimed to have met his rival, President Joko Widodo’s firstborn son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, in the distribution of aid in the matter of handling the COVID-19 in Solo, Central Java, on Tuesday (4/28/2020). Purnomo said that his meeting with Gibran was not accidental. His arrival in the distribution of assistance for the handling of COVID-19 pandemic was to represent the Mayor, FX Hadi Rudyatmo. Purnomo and Gibran briefly shook hands using their elbows and spoke briefly. “Yes, we talked about trivial matters. how are you? Healthy, enthusiastic,” explained Purnomo. 

As a matter of fact, in August 2019 a National Survey Media Research Institute (Median) poll revealed that Achmad Purnomo’s electability was above that of Gibran. Based on the survey, Purnomo’s electability was recorded at 40.9 percent, while Gibran only won 19.1 percent – or 21 percent below the incumbent candidates. Median Executive Director Rico Marbun said the electability of incumbent candidates was superior to Gibran’s. Electability is measured by two methods, namely, open questions and closed questions. “Electability (measured by the open question method) for the incumbent candidate, Achmad Purnomo, reached 40.9 percent. Meanwhile, Gibran’s electability was only 19.1 percent,” he confirmed. Then with the open question method, Achmad Purnomo’s electability is vastly superior, gaining 45 percent of the votes, while Gibran gained 24.5 votes. At that time the volunteers continued to heat the engine to make sure that Gibran would win in the Solo elections. They routinely hold social activities and impromptu visits widely known as ‘blusukan’ on social media. (dan)