Group of ulemas pushes for VP slot in Prabowo coalition
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani
The Jakarta Post
Ulemas and Muslim activists united under the National Movement to Safeguard the Ulema Fatwa (GNPF) are pushing Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto over the certainty of a vice president candidate.
The GNPF visited Prabowo at his private residence in Kertanegara, South Jakarta, late on Monday, asking about the recommendation it made regarding two potential VP figures for Prabowo.
“They came to ask [Prabowo] about the result of the discussion among the parties in the coalition regarding their recommendation,” Gerindra secretary-general Ahmad Muzani said after the meeting.
The Prabowo coalition, despite no official declaration, now comprises the Gerindra, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Democratic Party.
The GNPF held an ulema gathering on July 24 and issued a recommendation proposing two figures as potential hopefuls to be Prabowo’s running mate in the 2019 race. The two are Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) advisory board chairman Salim Segaf al-Jufri and popular preacher Abdul Somad Batubara.
Salim was a former social affairs minister and once an Indonesia ambassador to Saudi Arabia. However, most surveys have shown that his electability is too low to be able to help boost Prabowo’s in the election.
Meanwhile, Somad has reportedly refused the suggestion to be nominated for VP candidate.
Prabowo said he still needed more time to discuss the recommendation. But reports have said the former general is more interested in Agus Harimurti, the 39-year-old son of Democrat chief patron and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. (jun)
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