Wed, 16 Jul 2003

Four pairs to vie for C. Java governorship

Suherdjoko, The Jakarta Post, Semarang

Four pairs of candidates will contest the gubernatorial election in Central Java province, scheduled for July 24.

They were selected from 32 candidates registered to vie for the posts of governor and deputy governor.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), the largest faction in the Central Java legislative council, has nominated the pair of Mardijo and Hisyam Alie.

The incumbent governor, Mardiyanto, paired with Ali Mufiz, will stand for reelection on a ticket from the National Awakening Party (PKB).

Other candidates are the pair of H.S. Kirbiantoro and Hisyam Alie supported the United Development Party (PPP), and Hadi Pranoto and Djoko Wahyudi nominated by the National Mandate Party (PAN).

All the gubernatorial candidates will scramble to get as many of the 100 votes from the provincial legislative council a they can.

Mardijo and his running mate are expected to win the support of the 43 councillors from PDI Perjuangan, and Mardiyanto and Ali Mufiz will likely seize at least 16 votes from the PKB.

Meanwhile, Kirbiantoro and his running mate will likely be supported by all 12 members of the PPP faction, and Hadi Pranoto and Djoko Wahyudi are expected to pocket seven votes from PAN.

Based on electoral procedure, no candidate is allowed to withdraw in middle of the race, according to deputy council speaker Thoyfoer M.C.

"The council will not approve any request by a candidate to withdraw from the election," he said.

Thoyfoer said the names of the four pairs would soon be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs for endorsement by President Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Before the election, each candidate has to present his vision and mission through the mass media, Thoyfoer said.

Rumors of vote-buying have already begun to circulate in Central Java.

To prevent vote-buying, it has been suggested that all 100 members of the council be isolated hours before the election.