November 15, 2023
JAKARTA – Bobby Nasution, Medan mayor and son-in-law of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, has been officially dismissed from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) for supporting presidential and vice presidential candidates Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka.
“Yes, he was dismissed because he was deemed to have violated party rules. This is to ensure that he takes responsibility and did not underestimate his role as a party member,” treasurer of the PDI-P Medan branch Boydo Panjaitan said on Tuesday.
An official letter dated Nov. 10 signed by PDI-P Medan chairman Hasyim and secretary Roby Harus said that Bobby had violated the party’s code of ethics and discipline by supporting candidates endorsed by another political party.
The PDI-P has declared its support for the candidacy of former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo and Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD.
“Bobby is no longer fit for PDI-P membership,” Hasyim told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
The letter explained that on Nov. 6 Bobby discussed the matter with the PDI-P Central Executive Board (DPP).
The DPP then granted Bobby three days to resign from the party.
“By the deadline given by the PDI-P DPP, Pak Muhammad Bobby Afif Nasution had not submitted a resignation letter and the PDI-P membership card (KTA) to the PDI-P Regional Leadership Board [DPC],” the letter said.
Bobby previously said he was still looking for the right time to return his KTA to the PDI-P Medan DPC.
However, on Nov. 8, Bobby led the declaration at an event held by the Entrepreneur Fighters Front supporting Prabowo and Gibran at Djakarta Theater XXI in Central Jakarta, despite not having submitted his formal resignation from the PDI-P.
“Ethically, he should have returned the KTA first and submitted a proper resignation letter, displaying integrity. He shouldn’t have been busy with the declaration first,” said Boydo.
Bobby stopped short of commenting on his dismissal, but said that he thanked the PDI-P for its support of his mayorship. He won the Medan mayoral election in late 2020 on the PDI-P’s ticket.
“Let’s hope that the party will continue supporting me [until the end of my tenure next year],” Bobby said on Tuesday.
The rift between the PDI-P and Jokowi’s family started to widen after the Constitutional Court’s ruling that cleared the way for Gibran to run in next year’s presidential election.
Analysts say Jokowi has pulled out all the stops to secure his son’s candidacy and seal his legacy, even if it means opposing the PDI-P, which supports the Ganjar-Mahfud pair. But the President repeatedly asserted that he had no involvement in the presidential and vice presidential nominations.
Jokowi also stated that he would be politically neutral, including during a luncheon he hosted for the three presidential contenders – Prabowo, Ganjar and Anies Baswedan – at the State Palace last month.
The PDI-P once pledged to continue its support for the government until Jokowi’s term ends in 2024 despite the perceived betrayal. The PDI-P, according to party executive Djarot Saiful Hidayat, would not join the opposition for the rest of his presidency.
After weeks of silence on Gibran’s shock nomination as Prabowo’s running mate, PDI-P matron Megawati Soekarnoputri delivered a speech on Sunday calling for a “democratic, fair, direct, general, free and confidential election” and raising concerns about ongoing attempts to roll back the nation’s democratic advances.
The party chair also called for people to not be intimidated and to prevent election fraud, which she claimed, “was already beginning.”
The PDI-P has complained about the removal of Ganjar-Mahfud banners by local authorities in several regions and a police visit to a local party chapter, accusing the law enforcers of political intimidation.
The police denied the accusation, saying they were simply trying to ensure the local chapter’s office was kept safe.