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The candidate for acting governor of West Java proposed by the Regional Representative Council (DPRD) are Professor Asep N Mulyana, Professor Keri Lestari, and Bey Triadi Machmudin. They were proposed in the DPRD West Java leadership meeting on Wednesday (2/8/2023).
Currently, Asep Mulyana serves as the Director General of Legislation at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. Previously, he was the High Prosecutor of West Java for the 2021-2023 period.
Also read: Open Options for Acting Governor of West Java Come from the Central Government
Next, there is Keri Lestari. She is a Professor of Pharmacy at Padjadjaran University and serves as the CEO of the West Java Development Institute (Injabar). This institution was established through collaboration between Unpad and the West Java Provincial Government to provide input in policy making.
Meanwhile, Bey Triadi Machmudin, who came from the first echelon of bureaucrats in the Presidential Palace environment, along with Heru Budi Hartono who is currently serving as Acting Governor of Jakarta. Bey now serves as Deputy of Press and Media Affairs in the Presidential Secretariat.
Deputy Chairperson of the West Java Regional People’s Representative Council Ineu Purwadewi Sundari stated on Thursday (3/8/2023) that the proposal has been calculated in accordance with the existing mechanisms. Although they come from different backgrounds, all three have fulfilled the requirements for proposing candidates for interim governor in accordance with the Minister of Home Affairs Regulation No. 4 of 2023 on interim governors, interim regents, and interim mayors.
“This acting governor is proposed by the DPRD with a maximum of three names. Later on, there will be other proposals from the Ministry of Home Affairs. The final decision and appointment will be in accordance with the existing mechanism, made by the President,” he said.
Substitute for Ridwan Kamil
This proposal emerged to prepare a replacement for Ridwan Kamil whose term ends in September 2023. Ineu hopes that the selected interim governor can manage the conduciveness in the 2024 political year. The interim governor is also asked to collaborate with the DPRD in running the government during that transition period.
“Whoever the acting governor is, they are responsible for stability and security in West Java. I am sure that everyone understands West Java and the names mentioned by the Home Minister also have an understanding of the situation in West Java,” he said.
Political observer from Unpad, Firman Manan, views that the proposal for an acting governor in West Java needs attention. He assesses that the high election vulnerability index in West Java increases the potential for conflict and vulnerability. Moreover, in 2024, the people will vote for the president, regional heads, and legislative bodies.
According to data from the Election Supervisory Agency, the Election Vulnerability Index (IKP) in West Java reached 77.04. This figure ranks fourth nationally after DKI Jakarta with a score of 88.95, North Sulawesi (87.49), and North Maluku (84.86). In the 2024 election, the number of voters in West Java reached 35.7 million people, the highest in the country.
“West Java is a strategic area with the largest number of voters in Indonesia and high vulnerability to election-related conflicts. Furthermore, the 2024 Elections differ from the 2018 regional elections as they involve the selection of not only regional leaders but also Presidents, legislative members and representatives in the same year. This contributes to the potential for conflict to grow,” he said.
Therefore, according to Firman, the proposed names should at least understand the strategy to ensure the stability of West Java in the political year. He believes that the three figures proposed by the DPRD each have their own strengths to be considered in the selection of the interim governor of West Java.
Asep N Mulyana, according to Firman, has experience in law enforcement since he once served as the Head of West Java Prosecutor’s Office. His name also garnered public attention for demanding the death penalty for Herry Wirawan, who was accused of sexual violence in West Java.
Meanwhile, Keri Lestari comes from an academic background who has contributed to development policy in West Java. According to Firman, Keri has experience in ensuring that the development pace in West Java continues to be maintained even though Ridwan Kamil has been dismissed from his position.
On the other hand, Bey, who is part of the Palace circle, cannot be underestimated. Firman stated that a similar situation occurred when Heru was appointed as Acting Governor of DKI Jakarta to replace Anies Baswedan.
“Every candidate has their own strengths in certain aspects. Managing potential conflict is important, so coordination with security forces is needed. Meanwhile, it is also necessary to continue programs for the next year. This becomes a strategic challenge with various considerations,” he said.
In addition to the three proposals from the DPRD, Firman also observed officials who will be proposed as candidates for acting governor by the Minister of Home Affairs. He stated that it is possible for law enforcement officials who currently hold civil and bureaucratic positions to be nominated.
“In the past, West Java had an experience of being led by a police officer acting as the governor, namely Mochamad Iriawan. When he was chosen and inaugurated, Mr. Iriawan was serving as the Secretary of the National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas),” he said.
The possibility of a similar pattern, said Firman, may also occur in the selection of the acting governor of West Java. Since May 2023, Commissioner General Rudy Sufahriadi has served as the Chief of Staff of Lemhannas, replacing Commissioner General Purwadi Arianto. Similar to Iriawan, Rudy previously served as the West Java regional police chief during the 2019-2020 period.
However, Firman sees that the current condition is different from 2018. The President is currently evaluating the placement of active TNI officers in several civilian positions following the arrest and designation of Basarnas Chief Marshal Madya Henri Alfiandi as a suspect in a corruption case.
“If we look at the pattern from 2018, it is possible for the acting governor to come from active police officers to ensure security stability. However, with the recent events, such as the Basarnas corruption case and the President’s evaluation, everything can change. Moreover, the President often surprises us. So, we just have to wait,” he said.
Previously, after the Plenary Meeting Announcement of the Proposal to Dismiss the Governor and Deputy Governor in Bandung on Tuesday (1/8/2023), Ridwan Kamil hoped that the appointed interim governor could continue the existing government. He stated that the government he had run had touched on all dimensions and no new concepts were needed.
The ability to continue a stable government in this political year is a challenge for the acting governor of West Java. With candidates for office coming from various backgrounds, the choice of the President will be a surprise worth waiting for.
Also read: Ridwan Kamil, wants to end his position well