Muhamad Taufik, Gerindra Party's central executive board chairman. speaks to reporters on Monday (22/04). (BeritaSatu.com Photo/Lenny Tristia Tambun)
Jakarta's Next Deputy Governor Might Be a PKS Man
BY : LENNY TRISTIA TAMBUN
APRIL 22, 2019
Jakarta. The Great Indonesia Movement Party, or Gerindra, the key party backing Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga "Sandi" Uno in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election, is leaving the decision about who will fill the Jakarta deputy governor seat to its main coalition partner, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), a Gerindra senior official said on Monday (22/04).
The position has been vacant since Sandiaga read his resignation letter as Jakarta deputy governor in front of all nine factions of the Jakarta Representatives Council (DPRD) in August last year.
Sandiaga quit the position to focus on his nomination as Prabowo Subianto's running mate in the 2019 presidential election.
Anies and Sandiaga were elected to lead the nation's capital from 2017 to 2022. PKS, the main party backing Gerindra, is now set to get their pick of deputy governor.
Muhamad Taufik, Gerindra Party's Jakarta executive board chairman, told reporters on Monday the two parties have no intention to leave the decision on who will be Jakarta's next deputy governor in the hands of their rival political parties.
"We've proposed two names for the Jakarta deputy governor position to PKS," said Taufik, who is also a Jakarta city councillor.
He made his comment in response to speculations that Sandiaga may want to return as deputy governor, a position seen as prestigious enough to be leveraged for his future political career, including a possible nomination in the 2024 presidential election.
Taufik said negotiations between political parties on who will replace Sandiaga as Jakarta deputy governor were set to take place after the presidential and legislative elections on April 17.
Taufik said Sandiaga himself is "not too crazy" about the position. "Sandi is not one to jostle for positions [in the government]," he said.
Sandiaga is said to have joined the National Mandate Party (PAN) last August, after Prabowo asked him to resign from Gerindra and join either PAN or PKS to run for the vice-presidency.
This move was necessary to avoid having Gerindra as the only party from the Prabowo coalition to nominate presidential and vice presidential candidates.
PKS Welcomes Sandi's Comeback?
PKS has been surprisingly welcoming of the prospect of a Sandiaga comeback as Jakarta deputy governor.
"Feel free, if he really wants it. However, we must remember he has not officially lost the election. What if he wins? This [election] isn't over yet," said Hidayat Nurwahid, the former PKS chairman.
He said PKS is focusing all its energy at the moment on supervising the official vote counting by the General Elections Commission (KPU), with the results set to be announced on May 22.
Many political observers have said jostling for the Jakarta deputy governor position may split the Gerindra-PKS coalition.
Sandi's Clean Bill of Health
After failing to turn up to three of the four "victory" celebrations at Prabowo's house, Sandiaga was seen visiting the Prabowo campaign team's media center on Jalan Sriwijaya in South Jakarta on Monday.
Sandiaga's on-and-off appearance since Wednesday's election was blamed on an especially bad case of the flu. Sandiaga said he has now been given a clean bill of health from physicians at Awal Bros Hospital in West Bekasi.
He told journalists he was now ready to watch over the vote counting process by the KPU.
"Both Prabowo and I believe the KPU and Bawaslu [the Election Monitoring Agency] will hold dear the values of opennes, integrity, professionalism and honesty in this long process. This is important to maintain people's trust," he said.