Governor, deputy to face-off in Riau election

Governor, deputy to face-off in Riau election

The Riau Islands General Elections Commission (KPUD) is ready to hold a gubernatorial election, with the incumbent governor and deputy governor set to battle it out to leader the province.

Riau Islands KPUD head Said Sirajuddin said the election, held alongside other elections in seven regencies and mayoralties in October, was estimated to cost Rp 89 billion (S$9.36 million), less than the earlier estimate of Rp 121 billion.

"The budget is smaller because based on the new electoral law, an election is held in a single round, so it costs less," Sirajuddin told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

According to him, the election's stages had yet to be arranged because the General Elections Commission (KPU) was still discussing its regulations (PKPUs) with the House of Representatives' Commission II overseeing domestic governance on Tuesday.

"We're still waiting for the PKPU, which will be discussed by the KPU and Commission II tomorrow. We will arrange the election phases after the new PKPUs have been decided, including the election budget," said Sirajuddin.

According to him, based on the number of ballots obtained in the 2014 legislative election, only the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) can nominate its candidates for governor and deputy governor for the 2015-2020 period without forming a coalition.

He added that the number of voters in the Riau Islands in the 2014 legislative election was 1.3 million, but his commission would recount the number of voters after the KPU issued the PKPU on simultaneous elections.

More than 50 per cent of eligible voters are found in Batam, while the rest are in Bintan, Karimun, Tanjungpinang, Natuna, Anambas and Lingga.

Meanwhile, Governor Muhammad Sani has declared he will team up with Batam Mayor Ahmad Dahlan to contest the election against Deputy Governor Soerya Respationo, as both vie for the gubernatorial seat for the 2015-2020 term.

Sani, a former bureaucrat and member of the Golkar Party Riau Islands supervisory board, announced Dahlan, who is also the Democratic Party's Batam Regional Executive Board chairman, as his running mate on Feb. 19.

The statement confirmed he would no longer pair with Soerya, who is also PDI-P Riau Islands chairman.

Soerya, who was also President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's campaign team leader for the Sumatra region in the last presidential election, has yet to decide on his running mate.

The PDI-P central executive board is considering two names to team up with Soerya, namely Karimun Regent Nurdin Basirun and Bintan Regent Ansar Ahmad.

Dahlan told the Post recently that he would personally campaign across the province as a gubernatorial candidate.

"Yes, I will contest the election, but of course we wish to form a coalition with as many parties as possible in the election," said Dahlan.

Sani and Soerya will officially end their terms as governor and deputy governor on Aug. 15 this year.

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