The Jakarta Post
The Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party is mulling whether to pair chief patron Lt. Gen. (ret) Prabowo Subianto with National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman and Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa, to run in the upcoming presidential race.
Lawmaker Martin Hutabarat, a member of Gerindra's board of patrons, said on Wednesday that the party considered Hatta to be an excellent running mate for Prabowo in the elections.
'PAN chairman Hatta Rajasa is among individuals we are considering as vice-presidential candidates for Prabowo,' Martin said.
According to Martin, the pairing of Prabowo with his Javanese and military background and Hatta's non-Javanese, civilian, background would make a perfect combination, although the final decision will be determined by the result of the legislative election in April.
'Gerindra is working on raising public support so that we will have enough votes in the legislative election in order to nominate Prabowo as our presidential candidate,' Martin, a lawmaker from the House of Representatives Commission III overseeing law and human rights, said.
The discussion on a possible match between Prabowo and Hatta in the elections was sparked after they held a meeting last February, which quickly led to speculation that the two party leaders were working on a deal that would pave the way for a coalition in the 2014 presidential election.
The speculation about a possible coalition of the two parties continued after the Jakarta-based pollster Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) released its study revealing Hatta as the most favored vice-presidential candidate.
The pollster said, therefore, that a pairing of Prabowo and Hatta would be possible.
PAN officially nominated Hatta as their presidential candidate during the party's national meeting in 2011.
Commenting on the matter, PAN deputy chairman Drajad Wibowo agreed that a Prabowo-Hatta ticket in the election was an option. However, Drajad said that PAN had also prepared two other possibilities.
'A Prabowo-Hatta ticket is possible. But don't forget that there is also the option of a Mega-Hatta or Jokowi-Hatta ticket,' Drajad said as quoted by news portal kompas.com, referring to chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and former president, Megawati Soekarnoputri, and Jakarta Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, who is also a member of the PDI-P, respectively.
Drajad explained that although PAN had officially nominated Hatta as its presidential candidate, the latter had yet to officially announce his decision whether to run or not.
Thus, Drajad said, the final decision would greatly depend on the result of the legislative election.
Hatta would run for the presidency if PAN garnered significant votes in that election and would pair with a candidate from any cultural or professional background, Drajad said.