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North Sumatra election: Could Ahok face off against Bobby Nasution?

Jakarta Globe - May 25, 2024

Yustinus Patris Paat, Jakarta – Rapidin Simbolon, Chairman of the North Sumatra Regional Leadership Council of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said the party is still considering several candidates, including Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, for the 2024 North Sumatra Regional Election.

The former Jakarta Governor is likely to face the incumbent Medan Mayor Bobby Nasution, who is expected to run from the Gerindra Party. Bobby, the son-in-law of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, officially joined Gerindra on Monday, further intensifying the political rivalry between the president's family and PDI-P.

PDI-P has played a crucial role in enabling Jokowi to serve two terms as president and in shaping the political careers of his son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, and Bobby. Bobby was elected mayor of Medan, and Gibran became mayor of Solo about four years ago, thanks to PDI-P's support.

Ahok also served as Jokowi's running mate in the 2012 Jakarta Gubernatorial Election, which they won. In 2014, when Jokowi ran for president, Ahok became the governor of Jakarta.

"We are currently considering everyone, including Ahok. Day by day, we will narrow down the candidates according to the prevailing political dynamics," Rapidin said at the PDI-P's V National Working Meeting at Beach City International Stadium in Ancol, North Jakarta, on Saturday.

Rapidin stated that the party will continue to closely monitor the political dynamics in North Sumatra and will open registration for various figures who wish to be endorsed by PDI-P.

"Other cadres from Jakarta can also be positioned in North Sumatra. As I mentioned earlier, registration will open in August. We will study and evaluate the political developments in North Sumatra daily, with the support of the party's central executive board (DPP)," explained Rapidin.

So far, several names have already emerged as potential candidates for the North Sumatra governorship, having registered with the PDI-P DPD. Among the internal candidates are Nikson Nababan, the two-term regent of North Tapanuli, and the incumbent governor, Eddy Rahmayadi.

"We can nominate our own candidate as we have secured 21 seats in the provincial DPRD. Hopefully, we will push to win the gubernatorial, regent, and mayoral elections in Sumatra," said Rapidin.

Moreover, Rapidin mentioned that several public figures and incumbent regional heads have expressed interest in running under the PDI-P banner in North Sumatra. The incumbent Deputy Governor, Musa Rajekshah, also known as Ijeck, has been in communication with Rapidin.

"Ijeck has called me. He will submit his registration form after the national working meeting. He called me directly, and we are welcoming," said Rapidin, who is also the regent of Samosir.

"The DPP will later decide who we will endorse. If other parties are willing to collaborate with us, we welcome it, as long as our political and ideological lines align to build North Sumatra," Rapidin added.

In the last 2024 election, PDI-P North Sumatra achieved significant results, placing many of its cadres in DPRD seats at the district and city levels. As a result of the previous legislative election, PDI-P won in 10 out of 33 districts/cities in North Sumatra, placing its cadres as the chairpersons of the DPRD.

In 14 other districts/cities, PDI-P secured positions as deputy chairpersons. "For the North Sumatra Provincial DPRD, we obtained 21 seats, up from 19 previously," concluded Rapidin.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/north-sumatra-election-could-ahok-face-off-against-bobby-nasutio