Gatot Nurmantyo among presidential candidate hopefuls for Democrats
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani
The Jakarta Post
The Democratic Party is mulling over nominating former Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gatot Nurmantyo as its presidential candidate, despite its high hope for Agus Harimurti, son of party patron Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Democrats deputy chairman Syarief Hasan said Gatot was among the hopefuls that would be assessed by the party ahead of the 2019 race. The assessment is scheduled for after the simultaneous regional elections slated for June 27.
“Of course, we well review [him], along with others, whether as a presidential or vice presidential candidate,” Syarief said Monday.
Other possible candidates, Syarief said, included Agus and Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto.
Gatot was reported to have met with Yudhoyono at the home of businessman Chairul Tanjung last Saturday, on the occasion of which he referred to Yudhoyono as “my parent”.
Gatot is said to be on the radar of both Gerindra and the Democrats, the two-largest opposition parties, not only for his high electability as a vice presidential candidate, according to a number of surveys, but also because he is known to have strong ties to Islamic groups.
Gatot previously submitted his name to Gerindra to be the party's presidential or vice presidential candidate, but the party has yet to give him an answer. Most Gerindra executives have insisted on nominating Prabowo for 2019, but some of the party’s politicians have said Gerindra was still open to other figures, including Gatot.
Gerindra deputy chairman Fadli Zon said Tuesday that besides Gatot, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan was also among the names being considered by the party.
Aside from Gerindra, no other party has made a decision to endorse Prabowo as their presidential candidate. To field a candidate, Gerindra will need to reach the presidential threshold and to do that it needs to form a coalition. The National Mandate Party (PAN) and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) are seen as the Gerindra’s closest allies, however both of them have yet to announce their official decisions. (evi)
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