Democratic Party likely to tap insider in 2014
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A senior lawmaker says President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party is likely to nominate an internal candidate to run for president in 2014.
Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, who leads the Democratic Party lawmakers in the House of Representatives, said that most members of the party want to nominate an internal candidate for the next presidential election, as opposed to backing another party’s candidate.
“We have so many members and we want our presidential candidate to come from their ranks. We have so many members of high quality,” Nurhayati told reporters as quoted by tribunnews.com.
Nurhayati, however, said that the party would select its presidential candidate only after the legislative elections in 2014, which would be just a few months before the presidential election.
The Democratic Party is the only major political party in Yudhoyono’s coalition that has not announced a candidate for the presidential election.
Several other parties have selected their leaders to run in 2014, such as the Golkar Party, which announced with fanfare in June its nomination of its leader, Aburizal “Ical” Bakrie, while the National Mandate Party (PAN) endorsed chairman Hatta Rajasa, currently Yuhoyono’s coordinating economic minister.
Smaller political parties such as the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and the People’s Conscience Party have also nominated their leaders as presidential candidates.
The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which opposes Yudhoyono’s coalition, has not announced its candidate for 2014, although speculation has it that party chairwoman and former president Megawati Soekarnoputri would again run for office, perhaps with former vice president Jusuf Kalla.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting Firm, 93.7 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of Megawati, 88.9 percent were well disposed toward Kalla, and 78.8 percent had a favorable opinion of another person tipped as a leading contender in 2014, Gerindra party chief patron Lt. Gen. (ret.) Prabowo Subianto, who ran for vice president in 2008 under Megawati.
The Democratic Party’s leadership previously said that its supreme council, which is led by Yudhoyono, the party’s chief patron, would determine its candidate for 2014.
Earlier this year, the elites of the Democratic Party elites began touting First Lady Ani Yudhoyono as the most qualified candidate for 2014.
Yudhoyono, whose second term as president ends in 2014, is barred from seeking reelection by term limits.