Tue, 06 Aug 2002

Plot thickens in Jakarta gubernatorial election

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Although supported by the four biggest factions on the City Council, incumbent Governor Sutiyoso could still run into a snag as horse-trading between the factions is still underway.

Syarif Zulkarnain Ginting, the Jakarta chapter chairman of the United Development Party (PPP), the third largest faction on the council, stated on Monday that if Sutiyoso did not accept Council Deputy Chairman Chudlary Syafi'i, a member of the PPP faction, as his running mate for deputy governor, then all the PPP's 12 members on the Council would withdraw their support for him.

He said the PPP chairman Hamzah Haz had instructed the party's councillors to support Edy Waluyo, the council's chairman (Military/Police faction), as their gubernatorial candidate if Sutiyoso and Chudlary did not run on one ticket as the gubernatorial and deputy gubernatorial candidates.

"We have to support the pairing of Edy Waluyo and Achmad Suaidy," Syarif said on Monday. He added that the leaders of the party's Jakarta regional board had met with Hamzah, who is also the Indonesian Vice President, last Saturday. Achmad is a PPP member.

Chudlary insisted that he would still be prepared to partner Sutiyoso even though Sutiyoso had another partner. "The withdrawal of PPP support depends on Sutiyoso. But now Sutiyoso has dug his own grave by seeking another partner," Chudlary added.

The PPP felt that the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) faction and Sutiyoso had betrayed it as the party had not nominated Chudlary as vice gubernatorial candidate as agreed by both factions previously.

Edy and Suaidy are another pairing supported by the PPP.

The PPP's stance could mean a messy gubernatorial race as only the Golkar faction with its eight seats is still promising to fully support Sutiyoso.

Edy Waluyo, who is a councillor from the Military/Police faction (which has nine seats on the Council), and chairman of the PDI Perjuangan Jakarta chapter Tarmidi Suhardjo, could be strong rivals for Sutiyoso.

The thirty members of the PDI Perjuangan faction are almost guaranteed to split into two groups -- the supporters of Sutiyoso paired with Fauzi Bowo, the city secretary, and those who support the chairman of the party's Jakarta chapter Tarmidi Suhardjo.

Tarmidi claimed that nearly half of the faction members would support him, while a source in the party said that at least 14 councilors would support him.

Tarmidi, who is paired with the secretary-general of the National Mandate Party (PAN), will receive the full support of the PAN faction with 13 seats and the Justice Party (PK) with two seats.

The Military/Police faction, which has nine seats on the Council, did not file a list of candidates with the gubernatorial election committee.

The National Awakening Party (PKB) faction with three seats and the Crescent and Star Party (PBB) with two seats did not nominate Sutiyoso. Among the other three factions, which only have one seat each, only one nominated Sutiyoso.

Meanwhile, Agus Darmawan of the PAN faction, said his faction expected to cooperate with the PPP faction to win the gubernatorial race. "I heard the PPP would reject Sutiyoso's accountability statement. I hope that they will cooperate with us," Agus told The Jakarta Post.

Regarding a possible rejection of Sutiyoso's accountability statement, Aswar Abas, deputy chairman of the PPP's Jakarta's chapter, said that it would be decided at a party leadership meeting to be held soon.

So far, 14 pairings of gubernatorial and vice gubernatorial candidates have been submitted by the 11 factions on the City Council.

The City Council will further shortlist the 14 pairs of candidates within two weeks starting on Tuesday. From the 14 pairs, the Council will select 11 pairs at the most and two pairs at the minimum.

Before election day on Sept. 11, these pairs will be reported by the Council leaders to President Megawati Soekarnoputri through home affairs minister Hari Sabarno. A pair must collect over 50 percent of the vote to win.

If none of the pairs win over 50 percent of the vote, the five pairs who gained the largest number of votes respectively will take part in a second round election. If there is still no winner after this, three pairs will take part in the third round to select two pairs to fight it out to the end.