The past few days have been a whirlwind in Indonesian national politics, with latest update from Gerindra officials indicating that Jakarta Vice Governor Sandiaga Uno may step down from his post by tomorrow morning in order to become the running mate of Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto, who is likely to be President Joko Widodo’s sole challenger in next April’s presidential election.
Sandiaga’s resignation as vice governor was all but confirmed by party colleague Muhammad Taufik, head of the Gerindra Party faction in the Jakarta City Council.
Mulyadi, head of the Gerindra Party faction in the West Java Regional Council, also confirmed that the party is set to nominate the pairing of Prabowo and Sandiaga and that their candidacy will be officially announced today.
In the last few days, Sandiaga’s name came up in discussions about possible running mates for Prabowo, seemingly out of the blue. Yesterday evening, he was accused of paying PAN and PKS a political “dowry” amounting to IDR500 billion (US$35 million) each to secure the VP position, causing a huge political uproar and even more accusation within the opposition coalition, particularly from Gerindra’s newest ally, the Democratic Party, which expected to have their cadre Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY), son of party leader and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, picked as Prabowo’s VP.
Should Sandiaga step down as vice governor, Gerindra will have the say in who will replace him and early rumors point to it being Muhammad Taufik.