The President’s political dynasty: Gibran Rakabuming

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(photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Joko Widodo’s presence in national politics was hoped to be able to break through Indonesia political dynasties. However, one by one, members of his family are starting to think of nominating themselves for regional head positions. Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Jokowi’s eldest child, admitted he intended on running for mayor of Solo, a position once held by his father. 

It’s not just Gibran either; Bobby Nasution, Jokowi’s son-in-law retrieved registration documents on September 13 for the Medan mayoral elections. Gibran Rakabuming’s early moves to run in the Solo 2020 mayoral elections have aroused a heated national debate. Founder of the survey agency Indo Barometer, M. Qodari believes Gibran’s run for Solo mayor will be seen by many as the beginnings of a new political dynasty. “Like it or not, people will see it that way as political dynasties are when family (members) becomes successors to public positions, especially a regional head and head of government,” said Qodari, Wednesday (09/10/2019). 

According to Qodari, political dynasties always have their supporters and detractors, each with their own arguments. “Those who support say that as it is a matter of interests, it is normal if a father is a businessman his son would also want to be a businessman, if a father is a mayor then a son would also want to be a mayor,” said Qodari. In order to avoid the political dynasty issue, candidates must prove their intentions are not just a part of a political dynasty. “Whoever is in a big political family must face that accusation. In my opinion, in the end one (person), the candidate, must prove that they are worthy by showing programs, doing well in debates, and everything is in the hands of the people,” he said. 

Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) executive director Titi Anggraini believes this is the beginning of the birth of a new political dynasty with Jokowi as its head. “Morally, it is something that is seen as regrettable by many groups because it turns out that power is seductive, and that temptation is hard to deny by those near Jokowi,” she said. 

Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Jokowi’s eldest son, stated there was no pressure or direction from his father during his decision to run for Solo Mayor. “Father never forced anything, never directed to go here or to go there. No. Everything was allowed. Everything. What’s important is it must be done independently,” said Gibran not so long ago. Gibran was actually not expected to be the nominee from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) for the upcoming 2020 election. F.X. Hadi Rudyatmo, Head of the PDI-P Solo Branch Leadership Council, stated he had nominees other than Gibran. “We already had our own nominees from PDI-P. But that was last minute, later (they) will be announced by PDI-P,” said Hadi. However, these nominees will in the end be chosen by PDI-P chairwomen Megawati Soekarnoputri. “So, everything is up to the chairwomen, her recommendations. For instance, if I wanted to register, if I didn’t have (her) recommendation, then it wouldn’t happen. That’s it,” continued Hadi. 

Addressing the accusation of a Jokowi political dynasty, Presidential Staff Chief Expert in Political Communications Ali Mochtar Ngabalin stated there was nothing wrong with Gibran or Bobby’s appearance alongside President Jokowi in the political world. “No one has the ability to say that the steps taken by Gibran and Bobby are part of a strategy in preparing a new dynasty of power,” he said, Tuesday (08/10/2019). Ngabalin added that President Jokowi, from the beginning had no plan to create a political dynasty. “Unless President Jokowi, at the time when gubernatorial candidates nominated themselves for Jakarta Governor, he pushes for his son,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Central Board Chairman for the National Awaking Party (PKB) Daniel Johan stated that he is ready to support the nomination of Gibran Rakabuming Raka in the 2020 Solo Mayoral elections. “PKB is very much ready to support, whether officially from the party or as an independent. What is important is Mas Gibran’s vision and commitment lift the prosperity and culture of the people. Pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) and the working class’s economy must also be paid attention to,” he said. 

Daniel believes there is nothing wrong with the nomination of President Joko Widodo’s eldest son. He does not think Gibran’s move to become Solo’s mayor is in any way related to political dynasties. Again, the politician emphasized the importance of his vision and mission for the people. “As long as his vision and commitment to the people and nationalism is good, there is no problem. What is important is his ability to make the people’s lives better,” said Daniel. 

Former House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Fahri Hamzah also commented on Gibran situation. Fahri Hamzah asked Gibran not to be in a rush to take part in the election. Even though it was Gibran’s right and he could be chosen by the people, Fahri stated that it would instead be a burden on Jokowi which will still hold office for another five years. “If I may give Gibran input, don’t take part in power even if that is the people’s choice. That will burden his father’s reputation…Don’t let yourself be played by bootlickers who will in the end ruin the whole pot of milk… instead use the milk to make martabak,” tweeted Fahri from his Twitter accounr @fahrihamzah, Tueday (08/10/2019). (Dan)