Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto was questioned on Friday for allegedly violating the Election Law after raising his index figure during a meeting with vice-presidential candidate Ma’ruf Amin at the Al-Ghozali pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in the city last week.
Bima was accused of showing political support for Ma’ruf and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who are ticket number one for the upcoming presidential election, prompting the Bogor chapter of the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) to launch a series of queries.
The Election Law stipulates that regional heads should not campaign for certain candidate unless they are on leave.
The head of Bawaslu's Bogor chapter, Yustinus Elyas, said Bima was asked 15 questions in relation to the incident.
“We are gathering information first on whether it can be classified as campaigning or not. If not, the case will be closed,” he said, adding that his office had previously questioned the local election committee and regional presidential campaign team in relation to the case.
He said the case would be assessed over two days before a conclusion is drawn.
Separately, Bima said he attended the event to honor an invitation and claimed his hand gesture was not a political message.
“Reporters asked me why I attended the event and I said there’s only one purpose while raising one finger as a reflex. It then garnered multiple interpretations,” he said, adding that he told Bawaslu that he attended the event in his capacity as an individual.
Bima, the deputy chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN), which backs Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno, claimed he had told his party to remain neutral in the upcoming election. (fac)