Tabanan village elders refuse entry to vice presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno

VP candidate Sandiaga Uno (L) and presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto. Photo: Instagram/@sandiuno
VP candidate Sandiaga Uno (L) and presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto. Photo: Instagram/@sandiuno

Despite being scheduled to campaign in the region on Sunday, Sandiaga Uno, the running mate of Prabowo Subianto, was refused entry to the village of Senganan in Tabanan by community leaders.

According to a report by detiknews, the rejection came in the form of a written statement which was signed by three village leaders, namely I Nyoman Subagan, Wayan Yastera, and I Wayan Sukawijaya, allegedly on the grounds that the community had agreed to support Jokowo-Ma’ruf in April’s general election.

“We don’t want a situation that is not conducive, because we have agreed to support the presidential candidates from PDI-P [Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, Jokowi’s party], for the smooth development of the village,” read an excerpt.

Sandiaga responded casually to the rejection, preferring to cancel campaign activities in Tabanan to avoid conflict. Though he respected the residents’ wishes, he advised his supporters against doing the same thing.

“I ask our supporters not to do the same to the President and [his running partner], Ma’ruf. Don’t provoke banner prints. Instead let us focus on the economic message; like keeping the prices of basic necessities affordable, and creating jobs. I always want to convey positive thinking to my colleagues and supporters,” he said, as quoted by detiknews.

The Tabanan Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) is currently looking into the issue. I Made Rumada, the board’s chairman, said that initial investigations had revealed that many people didn’t know about the agreement letter, though they were also unaware of the planned arrival of Sandiaga Uno.

“We’ll be able to confirm tomorrow whether it is true that the rejection statement was made on the basis of a community agreement,” he said yesterday, as quoted in Jawa Pos. 

He added that though election rules did not apply to Balinese village heads, they ought still to maintain neutrality as leaders in a community.

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