Puan still eyes VP position
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
While presidential candidate Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo insisted on Friday that his running mate had been confirmed, Puan Maharani hinted that she could also become Jokowi's partner in the July 9 presidential election.
Speaking to reporters at City Hall, the Jakarta governor declined to reveal the candidate and said the public announcement would merely be a formality. May 20 is the deadline for registration of presidential and vice presidential candidates.
'There is only one name in [my] pocket, though it has not been announced,' said Jokowi, who was nominated by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) for the race.
According to tempo.co, the former Surakarta mayor did not deny that the party had specified two candidates, namely former vice president and Golkar chairman Jusuf Kalla and Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Chairman Abraham Samad.
Both Kalla and Abraham have openly expressed their readiness to join Jokowi's camp. Samad even said the KPK leadership supported his plan; however, this was denied by one of his own colleagues.
'As far as we know, Pak AS [Abraham Samad] has not formally asked permission from the leadership to run as a vice presidential candidate,' said KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto.
Several media outlets speculated on Friday that the daughter of PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri, Puan Maharani, was also interested in become Jokowi's running mate if her mother decided to select a candidate from within the party.
'If [the candidate is chosen from] within [the party], I can be a candidate today,' said Puan at her mother's residence on Jl. Teuku Umar, Central Jakarta.
Meanwhile, in contrast to Jokowi's claim, Megawati pointed out that there would still be ample time left to choose Jokowi's running mate.
Megawati revealed that the nomination of Jokowi's running mate would strongly hinge on the PDI-P's coalition members.
'There still are several parties that might work together with the PDI-P. We will remain open [to other parties],' Megawati said.
The National Awakening Party (PKB) and the NasDem Party have entrusted Megawati to make the final decision.
Meanwhile, Prabowo Subianto has continued his attempts to persuade all the United Development Party (PPP) elites to support his decision to choose former coordinating economic minister Hatta Rajasa as running mate. As of Friday, some of them still opposed Prabowo's choice.
'The coalition should be built based on a shared vision. If [the vision] doesn't fit PPP's character as a party of the masses, then we will withdraw,' said PPP deputy chairman Achmad Dimyati Natakusumah, as quoted by Antara on Friday.
But the party secretary-general disagreed. 'We won't nominate anyone, because the PPP has given Prabowo full authority to pick the vice presidential candidate. He [Prabowo] will be his partner for five years, so he should decide,' said Romahurmuziy.
Another coalition member, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), was still attempting some political maneuvering. However, it realized that it was much more difficult to use 'bluffing' tactics on the former son-in-law of Soeharto than on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
'If he does not choose [a running mate] wisely and carefully, Prabowo could be in danger,' said PKS deputy secretary-general Mahfudz Siddiq.
In the meantime, supporters of dangdut legend Rhoma Irama condemned the PKB, which they accused of betraying their idol. Rhoma joined the party because apparently he believed he would be nominated as the party's presidential, or at least vice presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, Golkar deputy treasurer Bambang Soesatyo blamed 'money factors' on the refusal of Prabowo to accept the offer of party chairman Aburizal Bakrie to become his running mate.
'The reason why Prabowo rejected our offer was due to funding, because everything now relates to fund raising capacity [...] This is why the 'marriage' between Ical [Aburizal] and Prabowo did not materialize,' said the outspoken
legislator, as quoted by kompas.com.
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