The Jakarta Post
The Democratic Party officially declared on Monday its support for presidential ticket Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa in the approach to the end of the campaign period before the July 9 presidential election.
'This is the party's official stance, so we order all levels of members, supporters and groups under the party to give their full support to Prabowo-Hatta in the election,' Democratic Party executive chairman Syarief Hasan said as quoted by kompas.com during a press conference at the party's headquarters in Jakarta.
Syarief acknowledged that the party was initially neutral based on the decision taken by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the party's chief patron, on May 18. However, he said Yudhoyono allowed party members to support any candidate pair.
According to the Democratic Party's regulation, the executive chairman and secretary-general hold the authority to decide its direction.
'Prabowo-Hatta will be able to continue previous and current programs of President Yudhoyono's administration in the next five years, based on their presentation,' he said.
Party secretary general Edhie 'Ibas' Baskoro Yudhoyono, high council secretary Jero Wacik, honorary council chief Amir Syamsuddin, board of patrons chairman EE Mangindaan and member Roy Suryo were among the party's officials attending the declaration.
'The presence of the party's high officials shows that our party is highly-structured under one command from its chairman,' he added.
As one of the party's high-ranking officials, Wacik said he had asked all members and supporters to refrain from smear campaigns.
With the newly additional member, the Prabowo-Hatta ticket, assigned number '1' on ballot papers, is supported by the Gerindra Party, the Democratic Party, the Golkar Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Justice Development Party (PPP) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), which collectively secured 353, or 56.19 percent, of the total 560 seats at the House of Representatives. (gda/nvn)