The Jakarta Post
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 said.
The crowd responded with 'God is great', kompas.com reported on Thursday.
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 political parties.
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 Widodo.( hrl/dic )