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Former West Java governor Ridwan Kamil could win major parties' backing to run for Jakarta governor

Channel News Asia - April 11, 2024

Singapore – Indonesia's biggest political parties are lining up candidates for the country's local elections in November.

Two major parties, Golkar and Gerindra, could back former West Java governor Ridwan Kamil for Jakarta governor, Golkar leader Airlangga Hartarto said on Wednesday (April 10), news outlet Kompas reported.

Mr Ridwan, popularly known as Kang Emil, is seen as a rising star in Indonesian politics thanks to previous successful stints as West Java governor and Bandung mayor. The role of Jakarta governor is one of the most prominent local political positions and could be a springboard to a run for the presidency.

Indonesia held its presidential and legislative elections on Feb 14, and will hold local elections on Nov 27 to elect 38 governors, 416 regents and 98 mayors across the country.

Besides Mr Ridwan, Golkar is also considering two other candidates to run for Jakarta governor: Mr Ahmed Zaki Iskandar, who is currently Tangerang regent, and businessman Erwin Aksa, who is the nephew of former vice-president Jusuf Kalla, Kompas reported.

Jakarta's interim governor is Mr Heru Budi Hartono, who was a former head of President Joko Widodo's presidential secretariat.

He has held the interim role since Oct 2022 when his predecessor Anies Baswedan's term ended. Mr Anies was one of three presidential candidates in the February election, which defence minister Prabowo Subianto won with over 58 per cent of votes cast.

Last week, Mr Widodo's son-in-law and Medan mayor Bobby Nasution confirmed he would run for North Sumatra governor in the gubernatorial election under Golkar, which emerged second in February's legislative election behind the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

Mr Nasution was a member of the PDI-P but was expelled last November for supporting Gerindra's Mr Prabowo in the presidential election.

Ties between Mr Widodo, also known as Jokowi, and his party PDI-P have been deteriorating since his son Gibran Rakabuming Raka decided to join the presidential ticket of Mr Prabowo.

Political analysts have noted Mr Widodo will need a new "political vehicle" after he steps down as president in October. Talk that he may join Golkar gained traction last month after Mr Airlangga, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, said Golkar has a special relationship with Mr Widodo.

Source: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/indonesia-gubernatorial-election-jakarta-governor-ridwan-kamil-bobby-nasution-425793