National

Only three candidates will
run for president in 2014:
LSI

As only parties with a large number of seats in the House of Representatives can nominate a candidate for the 2014 presidential election, the Jakarta-based pollster Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) predicted that there would only be three contenders running in the election next July.

LSI predicted that other than Golkar and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which would both likely hold enough seats in the House to run a presidential candidate, a coalition of political parties under the so-called “central axis” would combine seats to field a contender.

In accordance with Law No. 42/2008 on the presidential election, only a political party or a coalition that garners 20 percent of legislative seats or 25 percent of the popular vote in the April 2014 legislative election is eligible to contest the presidential election.

The latest survey from LSI found that if the legislative election were to take place today, Golkar would secure 20.4 percent of the popular vote and PDI-P 18.7 percent.

The survey, which was conducted from Sept. 12 to Oct. 5 also found that the ruling Democratic Party would garner only 9.8 percent of the vote. With such a poor showing, the Democratic Party would cease to be a major political party and would be expected to join the central axis.

Agreeing on a candidate to nominate, however, would likely be a struggle for the central axis.

“Although the Democratic Party will collaborate with the central axis parties, it’s unlikely it will endorse its own [presidential] candidate because unlike other parties in the group, the party has no strong and influential figure to contest the election,” LSI researcher Ardian Sopa said on Sunday.

In addition to the Democratic Party, the central axis group is expected to comprise the nationalist parties — including the Great Indonesian Movement (Gerindra) Party, the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), the National Democratic Party (NasDem) and the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI) — and the Islamic-based parties, including the National Mandate Party (PAN), the National Awakening Party (PKB), the United Development Party (PPP), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the Crescent Star Party (PBB).

Golkar has officially nominated its chairman Aburizal Bakrie as its presidential candidate.

The PDI-P has yet to announce whether it would nominate popular Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

The PDI-P is expected to name its presidential candidate early next year. Ardian of the LSI said that should the PDI-P fail to nominate Jokowi as its presidential candidate, it is likely that central axis would nominate him and pair him with the most popular candidate from the Islamic-based parties.

According to the LSI survey, PAN chairman and Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa appeared to be the most favored vice presidential candidate among leaders from the Islamic-based parties. Hatta would secure 31.3 percent of the vote if the election were held today.

The survey also found that PBB senior politician Yusril Ihza Mahendra would come in second with 15.2 percent of votes, followed by PKB chairman Muhaimin Iskandar with 11.8 percent and PPP chairman Suryadharma Ali with 10.7 percent of the vote.

“A pair of candidates from the nationalist parties and the Islamic-based ones will be the best scheme to overcome the strength of Golkar and PDI-P in the upcoming presidential election,” Ardian said.

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