January 19, 2024
JAKARTA – Political party leaders in Surakarta, Central Java, have demanded Surkarta mayor and vice presidential candidate Gibran Rakabuming Raka to resign from his post because of his frequent leaves of absence for the presidential campaign.
The mayor has reportedly taken frequent leave since the campaign season kick-started in November. This week, Gibran took leave from Monday to Wednesday to campaign in Jakarta.
A government regulation issued by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Gibran’s father, allows for ministers and regional heads running in the elections to take leave one day per week.
The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) faction head at the Surakarta Legislative Council, YF Sukasno, suggested the mayor resign from his post since his absence had hampered the deliberation process of various local bylaws.
“His leaves of absence have caused the [Surakarta] administration to become ineffective and inefficient,” he said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
Asih Sunjoto, head of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) faction at the Surakarta council, agreed with Sukasno.
“We agree [on Gibran’s resignation], so that he can concentrate [on the election]. If he is already focused on being a vice presidential candidate, he might as well just resign [as mayor],” he said.
Gibran, who was seen returning to the Surakarta City Council on Thursday, quickly rushed into a meeting room to discuss the city budget review.
“Thank you for the feedback,” he briefly said to reporters who had been waiting for his response on the growing calls for his resignation.
Gibran is the running mate of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto. The 36-year-old, who was elected mayor in 2020, became eligible for the presidential election after a controversial Constitutional Court verdict added that those under 40 years old but who had been an elected official could register as a presidential or vice presidential candidate.