PDI-P Believes Rieke, Teten Are Ticket to West Java Win
Markus Junianto Sihaloho
The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle is confident that its recently nominated pair for the West Java gubernatorial election will positively impact the country’s most populous province.
The party, also known as PDI-P, officially announced outspoken lawmaker Rieke Diah Pitaloka as its gubernatorial candidate on Thursday, partnering her with antigraft activist Teten Masduki.
PDI-P lawmaker Maruarar Sirait said the party had received a positive response to its decision to back Rieke and Teten.
“There are many hopes and wishes given [to PDI-P]. We shall prove that PDI-P chooses [candidates] based on their ideology and track record, nothing else,” he said.
Tjahjo Kumolo, PDI-P secretary general, said Rieke and Teten had a shot at winning the West Java election because voters sought clean leaders with vision.
“People are being marginalized and face greater social injustice. PDI-P believes [the West Java] election will be a stepping stone toward a politically, economically, culturally sovereign Indonesia,” he said.
The party is fresh off a major victory in Jakarta after its candidate, Joko Widodo, defeated incumbent Fauzi Bowo in September’s gubernatorial runoff election.
Speaking to reporters after Rieke and Teten’s nomination, Joko said he had been in talks with Rieke on strategies to win the West Java election.
“Of course, because West Java is bigger in size [than Jakarta], there needs to be modifications,” he said.
The PDI-P paired with the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) during the Jakarta election, but Maruarar said there was no reason why the two parties should team up again at the West Java race.
“Our votes [in West Java] are enough to nominate our own candidate. During the Jakarta election we didn’t have enough votes, which is why we formed a coalition,” he said.
“What is important is that we form a coalition with the people.”
Rieke called Teten “a wild bull finding his home,” in reference to the PDI-P logo. Teten, she said, shared the same ideology as PDI-P, which has been critical of the government.
“This is our first step toward a great battle. But I think together with the people of West Java, we will win the election in February 2013,” she said.
On Thursday, Teten officially resigned from his position as secretary general of Transparency International Indonesia, which requires non-partisanship from its officials.
Teten said the pair is cooperating as a balanced team.
“This is very important from the start so we don’t split up half way,” he said, adding that he would not be Rieke’s “spare tire” as exemplified in many regional governments across the country.
Meanwhile, incumbent Ahmad Heryawan is being backed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), while his deputy, Dede Yusuf, is running against him on the Democratic Party’s ticket.
The Golkar Party has nominated M.S. Syafiuddin, popularly known as Yance, the former head of Indramayu district.
Ahmad, Dede and Yance have not yet announced who their running mates will be. The candidates have until Saturday to register with the West Java General Elections Commission (KPUD).
Dikdik Mulyana Arief Mansur, a former South Sumatra Police chief, on Tuesday became the first candidate to officially register his bid for the West Java gubernatorial election in February.