Jakarta governor Ahok officially transfers office to acting governor ahead of next year's gubernatorial election

Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo hands over a document on Wednesday (Oct 26) to the Home Ministry’s regional autonomy director general Soni Sumarsono during the transfer of office ceremony.
Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo hands over a document on Wednesday (Oct 26) to the Home Ministry’s regional autonomy director general Soni Sumarsono during the transfer of office ceremony. PHOTO: THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has officially handed over his office to the Home Ministry's regional autonomy director general Soni Sumarsono, who was appointed by the ministry to serve as acting governor on Wednesday (Oct 26).

Ahok and Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat will take leave to campaign in the Jakarta gubernatorial election, as required by the Regional Elections Law, from Oct 28 to Feb 11.

Voting day is on Feb 15, 2017.

The handover ceremony was held at the Home Ministry in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.

"The ministry decided to assign Soni Sumarsono, the regional autonomy director general, as acting Jakarta governor from Oct 28 to Feb 17, 2017," Home Ministry secretary-general Yuswandi A. Temenggung said.

Meanwhile, Ahok welcomed the decision to appoint Soni as acting governor.

"We hope everything will be fine and we can cooperate well together. Congratulations to Pak Sumarsono for being trusted to take on this duty," Ahok said.

Ahok had previously been reluctant to take leave and had filed a judicial review with the Constitutional Court, asking the court to annul the regulation in the Regional Elections Law that requires incumbent regional candidates to take leave during campaign periods.