The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo says the list of potential running mates for his reelection bid next year has been narrowed down to five names.
As the clock ticks for presidential candidates to register for the 2019 election, Jokowi said he was still discussing all potential running mates with his coalition of five political parties backing his bid.
"The list of 10 names has been pared down to five," Jokowi said on Wednesday.
Speculation is rife that Jokowi is likely to pick a non-political party figure as his running mate to prevent conflict among coalition member parties.
The Golkar Party, a strong supporter of Jokowi, has reportedly mulled over the possibility of backing out of the coalition and instead teaming up with the Democratic Party if Golkar chairman Airlangga Hartarto is not named Jokowi’s running mate.
Recent moves by opposition parties to pair Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan with Dems rising star Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono has added another layer of complexity, particularly since Anies, who is non-partisan and a Muslim scholar, could be a tough contender for Jokowi, analysts have said.
Airlangga said it was essential for all five coalition members to stick to the agreed mechanism and not force Jokowi to pick candidate of their interest.
Jokowi, however, refused to reveal the names. (ipa)