Sandiaga Uno asserts that vacant Jakarta vice governor position belongs to PKS, wants it filled as soon as possible

Sandiaga Uno (left) and Anies Baswedan during their first day as vice governor and governor of Jakarta in 2017. Photo: Instagram / @aniesbaswedan
Sandiaga Uno (left) and Anies Baswedan during their first day as vice governor and governor of Jakarta in 2017. Photo: Instagram / @aniesbaswedan

Prabowo Subianto’s running mate Sandiaga Uno has practically ruled himself out of returning to the Jakarta vice governor post that he vacated when he was nominated as VP last August, even as speculation is mounting that he will return to being Governor Anies Baswedan’s second-in-command after his projected defeat in last Wednesday’s election.

Today, without directly addressing rumors that he would return as Jakarta’s vice governor, Sandiaga said he wants the position filled as soon as possible by a politician from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), an ally in his party Gerindra’s opposition coalition.

“Pak Anies’ work would be helped by a vice governor and so I say to the politicians, put aside personal goals for the public’s needs. Pak Anies needs a deputy, pick one soon,” Sandiaga told reporters today, as quoted by Merdeka.

“The process is ongoing and it shouldn’t be politicized anymore. I think enough is enough,”

Since Sandiaga vacated the position in August in order to join Prabowo’s ticket, Gerindra and PKS have been engaged in a few very public spats over whose cadre should fill the seat. It’s understood that they finally agreed to let PKS have the position, though there has not been a replacement vice governor since, leading to speculation that it was deliberately left vacant in case Sandiaga wants to return.

If that were the case — since we can never simply take any politician’s words at face value — it’s unlikely that Sandiaga would return before May 22, which is the date that the General Election Commission (KPU) would release the official tally of the April 17 presidential election.

Even if, as projected by all independent poll groups’ quick count tallies, Prabowo and Sandiaga lose to President Joko Widodo and his running mate Ma’ruf Amin, it’s likely that the former would challenge the result to the Constitutional Court, thereby further delaying any possibility of Sandiaga returning to practical politics.

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