Wed, 15 Jan 2003

Teacher elected Cirebon mayor

CIREBON, West Jawa: Two teachers, Subardi and Agus Alwafier, won a landmark direct election for mayor and deputy mayor for 2003/2008 respectively here on Tuesday.

The team of Subardi, 39, of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, and Agus, 42, of the National Mandate Party, won support from 15 local councillors to beat Golkar candidates Sunaryo HW and Arief Natadiningrat by just a vote in the second run-off.

The two teams were tied at 14 votes each in the first two rounds of voting before the other deputy mayoral candidate Enang Iman Gana of the Justice and Unity Party threw his weight behind Subardi and Agus.

Security was tight with the presence of some 340 police officers guarding the legislative building during the election, which went off peacefully. Local police deployed two armored cars and bomb disposal experts to anticipate any trouble.

Subardi teaches at an elementary school in the neighboring town of Indramayu, while Agus, who is the deputy speaker of the local legislature, is a teacher with the Al-Azhar educational foundation in Cirebon.

Both the legislative council speaker, Suryana, and the head of the local education agency, Agung Sumaryana, called on the newly- elected mayor to make education his top priority. -- JP