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 Gerindra Offers Basuki Party Support for Next Jakarta Governor Race

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BerichtOnderwerp: Gerindra Offers Basuki Party Support for Next Jakarta Governor Race   vr 24 jul 2015 - 5:20

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From the JakPos,Jul 23, 2015


Jakarta. A senior official with the Great Indonesia Movement Party, or Gerindra, says the party is willing to back Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama for another term — despite the straight-talking governor leaving the party in protest.

Basuki broke ties with the Gerindra Party last year after it pushed a contentious law through the House of Representatives (DPR) that scrapped direct local elections.

On Thursday, however, businessman Hasjim Djojohadikusumo, a key party patron and brother to Gerindra founder and chairman Prabowo Subianto, said things could be patched up.

“The door will always be open for Pak Ahok,” he said, referring to Basuki by his popular nickname. “Never say never, there are always possibilities.”

Gerindra nominated Basuki, a former head of the East Belitung district in Bangka-Belitung, as the running mate of Joko Widodo, from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), in the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial race, which was won by the pair.

Gerindra and the PDI-P cut ties ahead of Indonesia’s presidential election last year, however, after the PDI-P made it clear it planned to nominate Joko as its presidential candidate. Ex-army general Prabowo was incensed by the plan and accused PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri of betraying a deal they had made to support his presidential bid instead.

When Joko won the presidential race and was inaugurated as Indonesia’s seventh president in October, Basuki took over the governor’s post.

But Basuki left Gerindra in protest in September after it attempted to amend the law on direct regional elections, scrapping the ability of people to elect local leaders and giving local legislative councils the power to appoint district heads, mayors and governors, instead.

The legislation passed in the House, but was ultimately killed after then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s intervened with a special presidential decree.

Basuki has remained detached from Gerindra and has been left without party support in the Jakarta Legislative Council, or DPRD.

This has led to a number of hurdles, including his late inauguration. President Joko was forced to bypass the usual inauguration mechanism through DPRD and install Basuki as the governor through a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta in November.

The support of Gerindra again could prove a major boost for the beleaguered governor come next year’s provincial elections.

Basuki has yet to respond to Gerindra’s olive branch, but Hasjim said Gerindra was willing to reconcile.

“Two years is quite a long time. Everything is possible. Pak Prabowo is a very forgiving person,” he said.


(Pak Prabowo is a very forgiving person,” he said, who is kidding who?) siK.


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