Rumors Say Ahok May Lead New Capital City

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaPresident Joko "Jokowi" Widodo was reportedly finalizing candidate names who will be nominated as the head authority of the new capital city, which will serve on a ministerial-level position.

    Two sources of Tempo in the government claimed that there are three strongest candidates, namely Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro; Chief Commissioner of state oil and gas firm Pertamina Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok; and Deputy State-Owned Enterprises Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin.

    When asked for confirmation, Bambang said he was in the dark about the rumors. "I have not been informed yet," said Bambang via a text message to Tempo on Wednesday, February 25, 2020.

    Bambang was also tight-lipped when asked whether he was ready to lead the agency overseeing the relocation of the new administrative center. "I am ready as Menristek [his current position]," he joked.

    Similar to Bambang's response, Ahok claimed he was not aware of the candidacy rumors. "I don't know about it," he shortly said.

    The former governor of Jakarta said he did not want to assume about the candidacy. "Don't make such an assumption. I've only been in Pertamina for three months," said Ahok.

    Meanwhile, Budi Gunadi had not made any response yet.

    Earlier on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that President Jokowi was mulling over names to fill the position. As for the decision on the establishment of an authoritative body awaited the issuance of the presidential regulation, Luhut added.

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA