The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, has organized a course designed to assist the party's coaches in training election observers for the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial race in which it will be represented by the incumbent pair Ahok-Djarot. (Antara Photo/Fanny Kusumawardhani)

Gerindra, PDI-P Agree to Joint Candidates in 2017 Jakarta Gubernatorial Election

BY :HOTMAN SIREGAR & EKO PRASETYO

MAY 28, 2016

Jakarta. The Great Indonesia Movement Party, better known as Gerindra, and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, have agreed to submit a joint candidate pair for the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election.

The regional and central leadership boards of the two parties are still involved in intense discussions on which candidates to field in the election.

"Communication between the two parties' leaders were good. There has been an understanding that Jakarta needs a well-mannered leader," Gerindra spokesman Andre Rosiade said in Jakarta on Friday (27/05).

Andre explained that Gerindra and the PDI-P only have to finalize the names of the candidates. One of the possible candidate pairs consists of Syafrie Syamsuddin (of Gerindra) and Djarot Saiful Hidayat (of the PDI-P).

This pair, Andre said, also enjoys the support of other parties such as the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). However, Gerindra hopes that there will ultimately be only two candidates competing for the governor's seat.

"We will also continue to build a coalition with other parties to support the Syafrie-Djarot candidacy. We are sure that our candidate will be favored by Jakarta residents," said Andre, who is also the deputy secretary general of Gerindra's central leadership board.

However, Syafrie has been accused of involvement, in his capacity as the capital's military commander at the time, in serious human rights violations during the May 1998 tragedy when massive riots triggered by economic problems eventually led to the resignation of former President Suharto.

Nelson Simanjuntak, a former commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), previously stated that Syafrie and State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Sutiyoso had both been involved in the events of 1998, although no evidence has yet emerged to support the accusation.

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