The Jakarta Globe, December 29, 2012
Incumbent West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan was reported to the local election board for alleged campaign violations after the governor reportedly asked local village chiefs for their support and promised them Rp 100 million ($10,376) each if he was re-elected, a spokesman for a rival candidate said on Friday.
The campaign team for the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) gubernatorial candidate Rieke Dyah Pitaloka reported Ahmad to the West Java’s Election Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) on Friday for his alleged remarks at a gathering of 320 village heads in the Cirebon district.
Ahmad reportedly asked the local leaders for their support in his re-election bid during the Wednesday meeting. He had allegedly asked the village heads to meet for the event and promised them each money upon his victory at the polls, said Abdi Yuhana, spokesman for Rieke’s campaign.
“There is a conflict of interest between [Ahmad] Heryawan as a governor and a gubernatorial candidate,” Abdi told the Indonesian news portal tempo.co.
The official campaign season is scheduled to begin on Feb, 7 and run to Feb. 20. The election will be held on Feb. 24. It is a violation of campaign rules to stump before the official session.
But Ahmad said he didn’t break the rules.
“I respect those who filed the report, but I think there was no violation,” he said.
Ahmad said he met with the village chiefs as the current governor.
“As a governor, I recounted work programs, in the past and for the future,” he said.
West Java Panwaslu chairman Ihat Subihat said he would look over the report before taking any further action.
This is Ahmad’s second bid for governor of West Java. He is running with veteran actor Deddy Mizwar and is backed by the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the United Development Party (PPP) and the Hanura Party.
Rieke, a lawmaker and former actress, is running with antigraft activist Teten Masduki on the PDI-P’s ticket.
The election is currently split between five pairs of candidates.
Incumbent Deputy Governor Dede Yusuf split from Ahmad and is running with Lex Laksmana on the Democratic Party and the National Mandate Party (PAN) tickets.
The head of the West Java chapter of the Golkar Party, Irianto MS Syafiuddin, is running with Tatang Farhanul Hakim.
And on the independent ticket former South Sumatra Police chief Dikdik Mulyana Arief Mansur is running with Cecep NS Toyib.
The West Java election is widely seen as a bellwether for the 2014 presidential election.