President Joko Widodo's eldest, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, is taking a huge step today in entering the race for mayor of Solo, Central Java amid concerns that the president is attempting to build a political dynasty in Indonesia.
Gibran, who has practically zero experience in politics, is going to officially register as a nominee through PDI-P for the same office his father held before he became governor of Jakarta and eventually the president. Gibran's nomination comes just a few months after he joined the ruling PDI-P party, of which Jokowi is a cadre.
Jokowi's son-in-law, Bobby Nasution, has also put himself forward for nomination through PDI-P to run for mayor of the North Sumatra capital of Medan. Bobby also has zero experience in politics.
However, PDI-P played down concerns of nepotism surrounding Gibran and Bobby's nominations.
"Political dynasties are normal in the East," Bambang Wuryanto, chairman of PDI-P's Central Executive Board, said yesterday, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.
Bambang added that being the president's son provides certain privileges for Gibran, but he still has to prove that he's up for the job to be elected. "If not, the republic will laugh at him," Bambang said.
One thing that earned President Jokowi his "man of the people" reputation was that he is the first Indonesian president to not come from a political dynasty in contemporary Indonesian politics. But it's increasingly starting to look like the former furniture salesman is building up his own family's political future after all.
Syamsuddin Haris, a political researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), lamented Gibran and Bobby's nominations.
Hak tiap warga negara utk terjun ke politik, termasuk anak/mantu presiden. Tapi tdk elok jika mereka maju sbg calon walikota saat bpk/mertua masih menjabat presiden. Dibela seperti apapun, cibiran pasti muncul: dinasti, nepotisme, aji mumpung dll. Smoga pak @jokowi menyadarinya. – Syamsuddin Haris (IG: syamsuddin_haris) (@sy_haris) December 9, 2019