Former Constitutional Court
chief justice Mahfud MD has announced his readiness to run for president
despite the fact that he has no political affiliation. The announcement was
made on Wednesday
night before thousands of Nahdlatul Ulama members in Jember, East Java.
“I, on this great
occasion, hereby announce my readiness to be a presidential candidate,” Mahfud
The crowd responded with “God
is great”, kompas.com reported on
When asked which political
party he would join, Mahfud said that he had yet to decide.
He said that many had
encouraged him to join the upcoming Democratic Party’s presidential convention,
but influential clerics reminded him that his roots were in the National
Awakening Party (PKB), of which he was deputy chairman in 2003, and therefore
encouraged him to use PKB has his platform instead of the Democrats.
The Constitution requires that
a presidential aspirant be supported by a political party or a coalition of
Mahfud was rated among the top 10 presidential contenders in a number of political
surveys, along with the likes of State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan,
Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan, former VP Jusuf Kalla and Jakarta Governor Joko