Vote for Arafat, Hitler, Martin Luter

Vote for Arafat, Hitler, Martin Luter
PDI-P candidate Martin Luter's name is inspired by the Christian reformist leader.

Two names on the ballot less than a two-hour drive from Jakarta are bound to raise eyebrows, if not necessarily the vote count for the Democratic Party.

One is Mr Yasser Arafat, who is running for a local assembly seat in the West Java city of Bekasi; the other is Mr Hitler Nababan, a candidate in Karawang regency.

And then there is a candidate named Martin Luter, named after the 16th-century Christian reformist leader Martin Luther, running for a local assembly seat in North Sumatra.

The Bekasi-born Mr Yasser, 31, says he has no links to the late leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation other than his grandfather who greatly admired him.

But the Democratic candidate considers his Arab namesake an inspiration to him to be a dedicated representative of his people.

And he hopes his unusual name will help him come polling day. "People may remember my name more easily," he tells The Sunday Times.

Mr Hitler Nababan, a 40-year-old moneylender, is used to people looking at him in disbelief whenever he introduces himself.

"I always get a 'wow' from voters I visit," he says. "They ask to see my ID."

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