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Celebrities, ministers eye House seats in 2019

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2018

Nurul Fitri Ramadhani, Jakarta – The names of well-known singers, actors and ministers are among thousands who registered with the General Elections Commission (KPU) on Tuesday, the last day of registration for those eyeing a seat in the House of Representatives after next year's legislative election.

The KPU in Jakarta, which is open until midnight, received submissions from more than 5,000 hopefuls as of Tuesday evening, among them Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani. Both are Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) members who became lawmakers in 2004 and 2009, respectively.

Presidential spokesperson Johan Budi also reportedly registered to be a legislative candidate for the PDI-P.

On Tuesday, PDI-P executive board member Andreas Hugo Pareira said only two ministers from the party would contest the election.

"From executive institutions, Yasonna and Puan will be our legislative candidates. [...] It was the party that asked them to contest the election," Andreas added.

The PDI-P also registered vocalist Ian Kasela, who fronts the band Radja, and singers Krisdayanti and Harvey Malaiholo.

"We hope they will encourage [the people] to love Indonesia's culture more through the legislative institution," said PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto.

The party registered around 575 legislative candidates representing 80 electoral districts with the KPU.

Well-known boxer Chris John, dangdut singer Kristina and several actresses – Nafa Urbach, Tessa Kaunang and Wanda Hamidah – are also on the list of legislative candidates registered with the KPU. They are all NasDem Party members.

NasDem secretary-general Johnny G. Platte said the legislative body needed people from those industries who could implement policies and regulations that developed Indonesia's arts and culture.

However, he did not deny that registering so many public figures in the contest was part of the party's political strategy to win big in the legislative election, given the popularity of the celebrities.

"We are sure that they have integrity and are competent [to enter the political arena]," Johnny said. (evi)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/07/17/celebrities-ministers-eye-house-seats-in-2019.html