Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika has formally announced his candidacy for reelection in 2013 gubernatorial election.
Hinting at the developing rift within his own People’s Party for Democratic Struggle (PDIP-Bali), Pastika was quoted by NusaBali as saying he had no problem becoming the candidate of another party if he was not to be the candidate put forth by the PDIP-Bali.
Pastika confirmed his intent to stand for reelection at a meeting of academics, and retired military and police personnel held in East Denpasar on Sunday, October 28, 2012.
At that meeting a number of prominent Balinese, members of the Bali Mandara Forum, stated their support for Pastika’s candidacy.
After hearing supporting statements from those in attendance Pastika offered his thanks, saying their support had increased his self confidence to take up the challenge and run for office for a second term.
Pastika told the group that he now had little expectation that the PDIP party would nominate him for a second term, but he did not view himself as a partisan politician and, as such, was prepared to stand as the candidate of any party that chose to draft him.
“I say this, because I know who I am. In other words and as I have said in the past, I normally throw myself into a fray; I am a professional; I am a nationalist; I am a democrat. So, if I am no longer the desired candidate of one party, perhaps there is another party that will draft me. If so, I say ‘thank you,’” explained Pastika.
Taking the vocalized support of the Bali Mandara Forum as a point of inspiration, Pastika added: “If I see the real aspirations just voiced, and even though they (the voices) do not represent all the people of Bali, those in attendance are all community leaders. So, in my opinion, it is fitting if I accept their aspirations. Once again, as long as Sang Hyang Widhi (the Almighty) gives me grace and health, I am prepared to put myself forth again for governor.”
Pastika explained that when he first ran for governor in 2008 he did so because of his frustration with Bali’s condition. Saying he took up the job of Bali’s governor at that time in an effort to help Bali. But now, according to the governor, he feels he is under siege, suffering a number of lopsided personal attacks.
“I have been accused of owning the Krisna souvenir company, that I own a taxi company, that I own the Mai Bus Company. In fact, Mai Bus is owned by Agus Suradyana (the regent of Buleleng),” lamented Pastika.
The governor said the large number of personal attacks has upset his family. Adding: “My wife and children have repeatedly asked me not to run for office in 2013. They are not political people; they do not understand politics. I pity them having to see me (in this circumstance). But I affirm that this is in fact a test. I have said to them, the bigger the test, the bigger the opportunity for us to advance to the next level.”
Referring to his recent hospitalization for a cardiac bypass operation, Pastika accused his critics of wishing him ill and praying for his rapid death. “Perhaps they would have liked it if I had died. The situation helped raise my spirit and it appears that I’m still hear breathing,” triumphed Pastika.
Leading Balinese psychiatrist and children’s rights campaigner Dr. LK Suryani said she was dismayed by the barrage of attacks against Pastika coming primarily from a single media. She said she had heard all the accusations against Pastika, examined them one by one and found them to be baseless.
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