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Jakarta governor to take leave during campaign

Publication Date : 08-05-2014

 

Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo says he has submitted a request for leave to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to enable him to focus on his presidential bid ahead of campaign season in June.

Jokowi has been named Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) presidential candidate. His nomination, however, is not official until it is registered with the General Elections Commission (KPU) from May 18 to 20.

“I have submitted a request for leave to the President. I also sent a copy to the Home Ministry,” Jokowi said at City Hall on Tuesday, adding that: “I plan to discuss this issue directly with the President.”

Indonesia's Home Ministry spokesman Didik Suprayitno confirmed that the ministry had received the request.

“We received the request [for Jokowi] to take a leave of absence this morning. In his request, Pak Jokowi sought approval to take leave from the day the PDI-P registers him as its presidential candidate with the KPU, until the KPU announces the president- and vice president-elect,” Didik told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Government Regulation (PP) No. 18/2013 stipulates that regional leaders aspiring to run for president and join the campaign trail should submit a request for leave 12 days before they registration with the KPU at the very latest.

According to Ministerial Regulation No. 13/2009, should the request be approved by the President, the governor will be excused from performing his duties until the KPU announces the president- and vice president-elect.

If Jokowi fails to win the election, he may return to his office at City Hall.

The presidential election will be held on July 9, while any runoff will be held in September.

Andalas University public administration expert Saldi Isra said that in accordance with regulations, the deputy governor would automatically take over the governor’s duties once the governor went on leave.

“The administration should do just fine,” he said.

Saldi also suggested that the governor leave office only for the duration of the campaign season.

While expressing his readiness, Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama acknowledged that his duties would double.

“Clerical duties will double from what they are now. I usually only scan paperwork meant for checking by the governor. After I become the acting governor, I should read them all myself,” he told reporters at his office.

Ahok emphasised that he would run the administration the way it was currently managed.

“I will run the administration in compliance with the governor’s direction. It’s not like I will create policies or do anything that couldn’t be done before. I will still discuss everything with the governor,” he said.

 

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