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Gerindra nominates musician Ahmad Dhani for Surabaya mayoral election

Jakarta Globe - May 20, 2024

Yustinus Patris Paat, Jakarta – The Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) is considering nominating musician Ahmad Dhani for the mayoral election in Surabaya after he was recently elected as a member of the House of Representatives.

Dhani garnered more than 134,000 votes in the East Java electoral districts of Surabaya and Sidoarjo to win the House seat.

"For the mayoral election in Surabaya, the Gerindra Party is preparing Ahmad Dhani as a candidate," Gerindra Acting Chairman Sufmi Dasco Ahmad said at the parliament building in Jakarta.

Dasco declined to elaborate on the potential running mate for Dhani and the political parties with which Gerindra will form a coalition to contest the mayoral election in the East Java capital.

He said the party prioritizes its own members, such as Dhani, to compete for strategic public offices.

Dhani, who turns 52 next week, is the leader and founder of the famous pop music band Dewa 19. Throughout his career, he has written more than 200 songs for Indonesia's top-rated singers such as Anang Hermansyah, Ari Lasso, Judika, and Agnes Monica.

He has been involved with Gerindra since the party's chairman and founder, Prabowo Subianto, contested the presidential election in 2014. Prabowo won the presidency in the February 14 election in his third attempt.

During the 2014 presidential election, Dhani stirred controversy by releasing a campaign song for Prabowo based on Queen's "We Will Rock You" without permission from the legendary UK band.

Dhani was one of several opposition figures who were arrested in 2016 for alleged plot to overthrow the government, although he was later released without charges.

In 2019, he was sentenced to one and a half years for hate speech against the supporters of former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/gerindra-nominates-musician-ahmad-dhani-for-surabaya-mayoral-electio