Eye on gubernatorial return

THE NATION’s defeated presidential candidate Anies Baswedan (pic) announced he will run for Jakarta governor in a November vote, ending speculation about whether the opposition politician would seek to win back his old job.

Anies, who served as Jakarta governor from 2017 to 2022, was trounced in February presidential elections by former special forces commander Prabowo Subianto after running on a platform of change.

The former education minster confirmed on Friday that he would seek re-election in Jakarta, backed by the National Awakening Party (PKB).

“I’ve been entrusted by the PKB,” he said after Friday prayers in South Jakarta.

“Therefore, I say, in the name of God, we are getting ready to head for a second period.”

Anies remains a popular figure in the city of over 10 million people. His decision to run is likely to vex Prabowo’s big-tent coalition government.

Local media has reported that Anies may be up against popular former West Java governor, Ridwan Kamil.

Anies won less than 25% of the votes in the national election after running on a campaign critical of outgoing president Joko Widodo, accusing him of overseeing a period of democratic decline.

In March, he contested the results at the country’s constitutional court, claiming the vote was not free and fair.

The court rejected the case and upheld the results, which showed that Defence Minister and ex-commander Prabowo won with almost 60% of the vote.

Prabowo will be inaugurated in October and after winning on a platform promising “continuity”. He is closely aligned to Widodo. — Reuters

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