Jakarta – Labour Party President Said Iqbal has confirmed that they will not support presumptive presidential candidate (capres) former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan in the 2024 elections following a presidium meeting held on September 11.
Iqbal was alluding to the unilateral decision by Baswedan brokered by the National Democrat Party (NasDem) to select National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairperson Muhaimin Iskandar as a Baswedan's vice presidential running mate having earlier promised the position to Democrat Party chairperson Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono.
"Comrade workers are of the view that he hasn't even [been officially registered] as a presidential candidate but he's already not trustworthy. Comrades walking hand in hand, [but] based on the news we've obtained, they [the Democrat Party] were stabbed in the back. He hasn't even become a presidential candidate yet, never mind if he becomes president", said Iqbal at the Labour Party executive committee offices in Kramat Jati, Jakarta, on Wednesday September 13.
Reflecting on this, Iqbal believes that Baswedan will not keep his promises if he later becomes president given that the commitment he made with his own electoral coalition was proven to have been ignored.
"Never mind if later he becomes president, a promise is a promise. A thousand promises can be made no matter how sweet they are. If when they were walking hand in hand, they said they were stabbed in the back, what about the ordinary people", he said.
Earlier, Baswedan was included among the names of four presidential candidates that the Labour Party was considering backing which were selected at a national working meeting in February.
At that time, the four presidential candidates were the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle's (PDI-P) candidate Ganjar Pranowo, Anies Baswedan, Said Iqbal himself and TV presenter Najwa Shihab.
Now, several new names have emerged in concert with the removal of Baswedan's name from the Labour Party's list of possible candidates.
An internal Labour Party polling of presidential candidates found Ganjar Pranowo was supported by 12 provinces, Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Chairperson Prabowo Subianto 12 provinces, Said Iqbal eight provinces, Najwa Shihab two provinces, West Java Governor Rizal Ramili two provinces and outspoken government critic Rocky Gerung two provinces.
Iqbal says that the announcement of the Labour Party's choice for presidential candidate will be made at the Bung Karno Sports Stadium (GBK) in Senayan, Jakarta, on October 9.
He claimed that the event will be attended by 150 thousand workers from throughout Indonesia and promised that his party will give its support to the selected candidate.
"The Labour Party promises that after conducting a poll, with God's permission, it will contribute 6.5 million to 10 million votes nationally. Hopefully this can add to the votes for the capres who is chosen by the Labour Party", he explained.
Muhaimin Iskandar's response
Iskandar and now Baswedan's running mate says he does not have a problem if the Labour Party is reluctant to support Baswedan in the 2024 elections. For Iskandar, it is normal for the aspirations of each party to be different from each other.
"Now, about the Labour Party, it's also a [political] party, right. Its aspirations can be different, that's just normal", said Cak Iman as he is known at the Beautiful Mini Indonesia Park (TMII) on Thursday September 14.
Iskandar then compared the Labour Party's decision to the organisational position taken by the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI), which has already declared its support for Baswedan.
"The KSPSI is actually supporting [Baswedan]. The general chairperson [Andi Gani Nena Wea], the official federation president nationally which is part of the federations, has actually given his full support. Yesterday we met with the confederation from the labour organisations at various levels and sectors throughout Indonesia", he said. (pop/rzr/bmw)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Partai Buruh Tak Dukung Anies karena Tidak Amanah, Cak Imin Merespons".]