Presidential Election

Chinese-Indonesians to
quiz vice presidential
candidates

An association of Chinese-Indonesian activists and politicians will have a rare chance to quiz the three vice presidential candidates in a dialogue to explore the platforms of the tickets.

Hartono, chairman of the Nationalist Democratic Forum (Fordeka), said the dialogue was expected to give the minority group “a broader perspective” about all candidates before deciding their choice of candidates.

"Time has changed. Today, there is no reason for Chinese-Indonesians to skip elections because this is a way to decide their and their country's future” Hartono told The Jakarta Post Friday.

According to Hartono, Prabowo Subianto, who runs with presidential candidate Megawati Soekarnoputri, has accepted the invitation to attend the association's first dialogue on Saturday.  Boediono, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's running mate, will attend the second dialogue on June 20 and Wiranto, Jusuf Kalla's pair, will attend the final dialogue on June 27. All dialogues will be held in Jakarta.

Hartono said the dialogues would not only focus on problems facing the minority group, but also the candidates’ standpoints about other general issues.

"Like other citizens, we also want to know their strategic plans on developing national economy, education and also maintaining the country's peace and security," he said.

When asked why the group angled the vice presidential candidates, Hartono said the group had already been familiar with the presidential candidates and wanted to know more about their running mates.

According to Fordeka, there are currently 1,5 million Chinese-Indonesian voters among more than 170 million registered voters all over the country. Almost 60 percent of them live in Jakarta.

Fordeka recorded 58 Chinese descent candidates competed in the April legislative elections in Jakarta for seats in the House, the City Council and the Regional Representative Council, two of them secured House seats. (hwa)

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