Fourth Time's the Charm, Hopes KPU in Surabaya Mayoral Race


AUGUST 31, 2015

Jakarta. Registration for Surabaya mayoral candidates will be again reopened after the sole candidate running against the incumbent was disqualified, the General Elections Commission, or KPU, announced on Monday.

"One candidate was deemed disqualified by the Surabaya KPU. Therefore, the city of Surabaya will reopen the registration process for its election," KPU commissioner Hadar Nafis Gumay said at the commission's main office in Central Jakarta.

KPU's Surabaya office rejected the application of mayoral hopefuls Rasiyo and Dhimam Abror, which was supported by a National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Democratic Party coalition.

"Recommendation letters submitted by their parties were not original and the letter on outstanding taxes was absent," Hadar said, referring to a statement from the taxation office clearing vice mayoral candidate Dhimam of outstanding tax duties.

It is not clear when the registration period, already extended three times, will begin and if Rasiyo and Dhimam are eligible to re-register.

The PAN has said  it is considering challenging KPU's decision to disqualify its candidates and has reported the KPU to the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) and the Elections Organizers Ethics Council (DKPP).

With the pair disqualified, the Surabaya election will feature one candidate: incumbent Mayor Tri Rismaharini.

The incumbent mayor's political vehicle, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said it is also considering a similar challenge.

The law on regional elections bars a one-candidate contest, which means the election will have to be postponed to the next round of simultaneous regional elections in 2017.