Surakarta mayor stands in way of Jokowi’s son’s coronation

first_imgGibran entered the Surakarta mayoral race at the eleventh hour, registering through the PDI-P’s Central Java provincial chapter after learning that the party’s Surakarta chapter had wrapped up its candidate selection process. The party’s Surakarta chapter decided to nominate Achmad, the current deputy mayor, and Teguh.Hadi’s insistence on having Achmad on the ticket caught Gibran by surprise, given that Achmad has repeatedly made public statements about dropping out of the the race since April this year.The latest decision not to accept Achmad’s withdrawal has also created tension between supporters from both camps, treasurer of the PDI-P’s Surakarta branch Joni Sofyan Erwandi said.Joni said the decision to keep Achmad at the top of the ticket represented the party chapter’s stance and it appeared inevitable that the PDI-P would have two names as prospective candidates.”Pak Pur can’t just withdraw like that. A PDI-P member should not do that. We give him the recommendation to run although the final decision lies with the chairwoman,” Joni said, referring to Achmad by his nickname.The PDI-P central board maintained that the final decision on which candidate it would back in the Surakarta mayoral election would be the prerogative of party matriarch Megawati Seokarnoputri.“The decision has been made [by Megawati],” said PDI-P campaign team chairman Bambang Wuryanto. Megawati is expected to make the announcement in July.Gibran, meanwhile, said the move to keep Achmad on the ticket was fully Hadi’s business, and that he respected the decision by Achmad, whom he considered like his own father. Gibran said he would wait for Megawati’s final say on the nomination and added that he would continue to focus his effort on helping people in Surakarta deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.The position of mayor in Surakarta, which is considered a traditional PDI-P stronghold, has become crucial in the country’s politics as it is seen as the first stepping stone for Jokowi, who rose to national prominence after a seven-year stint as Surakarta mayor with Hadi as his deputy.Political analysts said Hadi’s decision to make matters difficult for Gibran could be seen as a territorial-marking move. “Gibran’s move may be discomforting to him [Hadi] because he is a two-term mayor, also the head of the party’s local branch,” said Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) political observer Arya Fernandes.Indonesia Political Review executive director Ujang Komarudin said the central board of the PDI-P was now caught between a rock and a hard place.”Nominating Gibran would risk incurring the wrath of the party’s local members in Surakarta and disrupt the party’s stability in the city, while going ahead with Achmad Purnomo would have the potential of driving a wedge between President Jokowi and Megawati.The PDI-P’s control’s over Surakarta’s mayoralty meant that any candidate that it nominated stood a good chance of winning the race, and Hady has played that card against Gibran’s wish, political analyst Agus Riewanto of Surakarta’s Sebelas Maret University said.“Since 2005, the PDI-P’s candidate has always had the upper hand [in Surakarta]. “This is a test for the PDI-P’s central board to give the correct recommendation to maintain the party’s unity,” Agus said.Topics : Hadi has not made any efforts to hide his displeasure toward the surprise bid from President Jokowi’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, to run in the Surakarta mayoral race.Tension came to a head recently when Achmad Purnomo, Gibran’s rival from within the PDI-P, offered to withdraw from the 2020 mayoral race, only to be rejected by Hady, who also serves as chairman of the Surakarta PDI-P branch, on the grounds that PDI-P members in the city wanted Achmad and his running mate Teguh Prakosa to be on the top of the ticket.”All party members rejected the withdrawal because the party central board has yet to decide on any candidate. The process must continue. “He [Achmad] is being nominated, and those nominating him are not allowing him to back off,” said Hadi.Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government and the House of Representatives have agreed to push back the regional elections, originally scheduled for Sept. 23, to Dec. 9. Having served as deputy to Joko “Jokowi” Widodo when the latter was mayor of Surakarta, and having later taken over when his boss relocated to Jakarta in 2012 to run for governor, many would expect Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician FX Hadi Rudyatmo, the city’s current mayor, to continue to be on good terms with the President. But in recent months, Hadi has made no efforts to hide his disagreement with Jokowi’s policies. In April, in the lead-up to this year’s Idul Fitri holiday, Hadi blasted Jokowi’s decision to ban mudik (homecoming exodus), saying it was too little too late. Later in May, the current Surakarta mayor also criticized the government’s decision to increase the premiums for the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS).Recently, the rift between Hadi and the President appears to have become very personal, with political observers considering that such a conflict could drive a wedge between the PDI-P central board and the party’s local chapter in one of the nationalist party’s strongholds.last_img read more

Hong Kong activists discuss ‘parliament-in-exile’ after China crackdown

first_imgHong Kong pro-democracy activists are discussing a plan to create an unofficial parliament-in-exile to keep the flame of democracy alive and send a message to China that freedom cannot be crushed, campaigner Simon Cheng told Reuters.Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, was convulsed by months of often violent pro-democracy, anti-China protests last year against Chinese interference in its promised freedoms, the biggest political crisis for Beijing since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.Hong Kong police fired water cannon and tear gas and arrested more than 300 people on Wednesday as protesters took to the streets again in defiance of new, sweeping security legislation introduced by China to snuff out dissent. “We are developing an alternative way to fight for democracy,” Cheng said. “We need to be clever to deal with the expanding totalitarianism: they are showing more powerful muscle to suppress so we need to be more subtle and agile.”He said more and more people were “losing hope that it is effective to go out on to the streets or run for election” to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, or mini-parliament.”We should stand with the Hong Kong people and support those staying in Hong Kong,” he said.’Very good signal’Asked about HSBC’s support for the sweeping national security law, Cheng said the British government should speak to senior British capitalists to make them understand the importance of democracy.After Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered millions of Hong Kong residents the path to British citizenship following China’s imposition of the law, hundreds of thousands of people would come to the United Kingdom, Cheng said.”The UK has given a very good signal,” Cheng said. “At least hundreds of thousands of people will come.”Almost 3 million Hong Kong residents are eligible for the so called British National (Overseas) passport. There were 349,881 holders of the passports as of February, Britain said.”One day we will be back in Hong Kong,” Cheng said.Hong Kong returned to China 23 years ago with the guarantee of freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland, including its independent legal system and rights to gather and protest, under a “one country, two systems” formula.Huge protests calling for democracy, especially on the anniversaries of the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen crackdown, were common and brought major streets to a standstill for 79 days in the Umbrella movement of 2014.The national security law punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, will see mainland security agencies in Hong Kong for the first time and allows extradition to the mainland for trial.Topics : The law pushes China’s freest city and one of the world’s most glittering financial hubs on to a more authoritarian path. China, which denies interfering in Hong Kong, has warned foreign powers not to meddle in its affairs.Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen, worked for the British consulate in the territory for almost two years until he fled after he said he was beaten and tortured by China’s secret police. Cheng, who has since been granted asylum by Britain, describes himself as pro-democracy campaigner.”A shadow parliament can send a very clear signal to Beijing and the Hong Kong authorities that democracy need not be at the mercy of Beijing,” he told Reuters in London. “We want to set up non-official civic groups that surely reflect the views of the Hong Kong people.”He said that while the idea was still at an early stage, such a parliament-in-exile would support the people of Hong Kong and the pro-democracy movement there. He declined to say where the parliament might sit.last_img read more


first_imgSANTA ANITA SINGLE TICKET RAINBOW PICK SIX JACKPOT CARRYOVER OF $290,854 INTO FRIDAY, WITH FIRST POST TIME AT 1 P.M.     ARCADIA, Calif. (March 8, 2020)–With no single ticket winner on Sunday, there is a carryover of $290,854 in Santa Anita’s popular 20 cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot into Friday.There was a carryover of $250,631 coming into Sunday, and with $175,679 in new money wagered, Sunday’s total Jackpot pool reached $426,310.Although there was no single ticket winner, there were 327 consolation tickets with six, each returning $287.50.Entries for Friday’s races will be taken on Tuesday, with first post time scheduled Friday at 1 p.m. Santa Anita will be open for simulcast wagering Wednesday and Thursday, with the Grandstand Paddock Room opening at 10 a.m. Free parking and admission is offered on all weekdays.For additional information, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more