Jokowi looking for running mate

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has been certain to seek reelection next year.

He recently accepted the nomination by his Indonesia Democratic Party Struggle (PDIP) at a party national working meeting in Bali to run again in the presidential election scheduled in April. He has revealed his confidence on being able to win the election again.

PDIP is the countrys biggest party, with 18.95 percent votes collected in the 2014 general election.

Following his decision, efforts are now being made to find a person fit to be his running mate.

Many believe that his recent meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla, over a lunch recently, was aimed at discussing the possibility for the vice president to be his running mate again in the election in 2019.

Kalla, who is a strong figure, however, has signaled that he would not run for vice president in 2019, citing an article in the constitution that only allows a person to be in the post of president or vice president twice.

Kalla has twice been in the post of vice president, although it was not consecutively, with the first one from 2004 to 2009, with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the president.

Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo stated that the law was still arguable as it does not clearly state if it applies to one who holds the same post twice consecutively

Golkar Party, where Kalla comes from, has to think hard to find a candidate to make the party remain in power if Kalla would not run.

Kalla has stated two factors needed for a person to be able to become Jokowis running mate. Firstly, the person must have experience in the government, so that he can help the president in carrying out his duties. Secondly, he must be able to help boost vote collection for Jokowi for the election.

Some Golkar party officials have suggested grooming current General Chairman Airlangga Hartarto to be Jokowi's running mate.

PDIPs Deputy Secretary General Eriko Sotarduga revealed that there are three criteria to determine a candidate as Jokowis running mate.

"The person concerned must have a chemistry to work with Jokowi, must be able to boost his electability, and must represent the Unitary State of Indonesia," he explained.

He added that the three criteria had been discussed formally, as well as informally, by participants of the partys national working meeting concluded on Sunday (Feb 25).

He stated that the partys general chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri and Jokowi would determine who would finally be fit for the position.

In addition, he remarked that the decision had to be made after consultations with other parties that support Jokowi.

Sotarduga asserted that PDIP would not only rely on survey results but also on the three criteria.

There are still a lot of things to be considered before the party could finally make the decision, but there is still time for it, he revealed.

The presidential election is scheduled to be held simultaneously with legislative elections on April 17, 2019. Registration of presidential and vice presidential candidates, meanwhile, is scheduled to be held in August this year.

Several parties that have supported Jokowis government have also proposed names for Jokowis running mate, such as Wiranto, who is former general chairman of Hanura; Muhaimin Iskandar, the general chairman of National Awakening Party (PKB); and Romahurmuzzy, the general chairman of United Development Party (PPP).

Other figures that have also emerged include former defense forces commander General Gatot Nurmantyo; Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, who is the son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; and former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.

Jokowi seems to be still a strong candidate for the president of Indonesia from 2019 to 2024.

According to "Lingkaran Survei Indonesia Denny JA" (LSI), Jokowis electability for the 2019 presidential election was still the highest.

"Compared to other candidates, Jokowis electability is the highest, reaching 48.50 percent," LSI researcher Adjie Alfaraby explained on Friday (March 2).

He pointed out that public satisfaction rate for Jokowis government is also high, at more than 70 percent, to keep him at the highest position with regard to his electability as next president in 2019.

Adjie remarked that he had predicted four figures who would seek candidacy for the election. They are Prabowo Subianto, Gatot Nurmantyo, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, and Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono.

However he added that the electability of the four combined still reaches only 41.20 percent, below that of Jokowi.

Quoting respondents, Adjie, however, asserted that Jokowis position was not yet secure with regard to several unsettled issues, such as creating jobs, reducing unemployment, and maintaining stability of staple commodities.

Network Election Survey (INES), however, has revealed that electability of Prabowo, who is the general chairman of Gerindra and also the former rival of Jokowi in the last election in 2014, has surpassed that of Jokowi.

Executive director Sutisna noted that according to survey results carried out from Feb 15 to 25, involving 2,450 respondents in 33 provinces, Prabowo would be chosen by 40.2 percent of voters, while Jokowi would only garner 31.2 percent, with the rest 28.6 percent of votes going to other figures "if election were done now" (March 1).

Source: ANTARA News

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