PKB considers leaving Jokowi to back Gatot
Margareth S. Aritonang
The Jakarta Post
The National Awakening Party (PKB) has said that it is considering withdrawing its support for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to pair its leader, Muhaimin “Cak Imin” Iskandar, with former Indonesian Military commander Gatot Nurmantyo.
A national meeting of party provincial leaders on Thursday concluded that former military commander Gen. (ret) Gatot Nurmantyo would be an alternative presidential candidate, in addition to Jokowi.
Such an alternative would emerge as a second option should the PKB's proposal to endorse party chief Muhaimin Iskandar be rejected by Jokowi as well as other party elites in the President's coalition.
"Some of us have demanded that [our chairman] Cak Imin be endorsed to run as a running mate of Pak Gatot," said executive member Ida Fauziah, who led the Thursday meeting.
"We know we are divided in regard to the endorsement. Therefore, we will leave the final decision to our central board members," she added.
Although some party leaders have asked the PKB to instead nominate Gatot, many insisted that the party continue to support Jokowi as long as his running mate was Muhaimin, Ida said. Only a few party members, she added, supported the party being in the Jokowi coalition without Cak Imin as his vice presidential candidate.
If the PKB decides to leave the Jokowi coalition, it is possible that three candidate pairs will compete in the 2019 presidential election. (ahw)
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