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Jakarta Post

Hanura joins PDI-P coalition, PKS woos Prabowo

  • Ina Parlina

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, May 18, 2014   /  09:58 am

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has added a new coalition partner after securing official support from the Hanura Party.

The political alliance was announced in a meeting between Hanura chairman Wiranto and PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri in the latter'€™s house in Central Jakarta on Saturday.

With additional support from Hanura, which gained 5.26 percent of the popular vote in the legislative election and collected 16 seats (2.86 percent) in the House of Representatives, the PDI-P-led coalition now controls at least 37 percent of the 560 seats in the House.

Wiranto said his party decided to join forces with the PDI-P as the two parties had been partners in opposition under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono'€™s administration.

'€œIt made us realize and believe that we actually shared a similar political platform,'€ Wiranto told a press conference after the meeting. '€œI, as the man in power [within Hanura], have decided that I will not abandon the partnership that we have built in the past five years.'€

During Hanura'€™s national executive meeting last Wednesday, Wiranto was given full authority to determine its coalition strategy.

The head of the PDI-P'€™s election team Puan Maharani concurred, saying that both Megawati and Wiranto had sealed the deal to join forces in the next government by endorsing the candidacy of Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo, the Jakarta governor and the PDI-P'€™s star politician.

Puan added there would soon be a formal declaration event, which would also be attended by the NasDem Party and the National Awakening Party (PKB), which have officially declared support for Jokowi.

Wiranto said he would give his full support to Jokowi and put his own presidential ambitions to rest.

Hanura previously endorsed Wiranto and deputy chairman Hary Tanoesudibjo as the party'€™s presidential and vice-presidential candidates. '€œIf there is no chance, the [Wiranto-Hary] ticket should no longer be forced to contest the presidential election,'€ he said.

Hanura set a target to garner at least 13 percent of the popular vote in the legislative election and has been campaigning for Wiranto and Hary, who controls MNC group, the nation'€™s largest media firm.

Wiranto said his party had not yet talked about possible running mates for Jokowi but made clear that such a decision should be discussed first with all coalition members.

As of Saturday, the PDI-P had yet to announce its presidential candidate as speculation intensified that it would nominate one of several top figures, including former vice president Jusuf Kalla, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) head Abraham Samad and Puan.

Separately on Saturday, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) officially declared its support for the Gerindra Party'€™s presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.

PKS chairman Anis Matta was quoted by Antara news agency as saying that '€œwin or lose, [we] will stay in the [Gerindra-led] coalition, whether in government or in opposition'€.

The PKS also proposed three winners of its own vice-presidential convention '€” including Anis, the party'€™s faction leader at the House of Representatives Hidayat Nur Wahid and West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan '€” to be considered as the party'€™s vice-presidential candidate by Prabowo during a coalition meeting.

Prabowo has yet to name his vice presidential candidate though many have said that National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman Hatta Rajasa was the strongest and most likely candidate. Several PKS and PPP members, however, had expressed doubts over Hatta.

As of today, the Gerindra-led coalition has collected official support from at least three political parties: the PKS, PAN and the United Development Party (PPP). The coalition now controls at least 29 percent of the House seats.

The other two major parties, the Golkar Party and the Democratic Party, have yet to decide on whether to join the PDI-P-led coalition or the Gerindra-led coalition, or form their own coalition to challenge Jokowi and Prabowo.