The Jakarta Post
NasDem Party chairman Surya Paloh said his party — a member of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s ruling coalition — may back a possible candidacy of Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan in the 2024 presidential race.
In a turn of events on Wednesday, Anies visited the NasDem headquarters in Central Jakarta and held a meeting with Surya, an influential media tycoon and senior politician. They engaged in a two-hour discussion over lunch.
After the meeting, Surya told reporters that he and Anies had discussed matters related to Jakarta during their chit-chat and that he had given the Jakarta governor advice on managing the capital.
When asked whether he had explored the possibility of supporting a run for the presidency by Anies in 2024, Surya answered that, while it was up to the governor to decide whether he would run or not, there was an “intention” to support Anies in the next presidential election.
“God willing, if everything goes well, as we expect,” Surya said, adding however that support from more political parties was necessary to realize the plan.
For the time being, said Surya, he wanted Anies — who is set to serve in his position until 2022 — to use his full potential as Jakarta governor, kompas.com reported.
In the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election, NasDem was in a coalition of political parties supporting the reelection bid of then-governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a close ally of Jokowi.
Backed by a Gerindra Party-led coalition, Anies defeated Ahok in the second round of the election, which was marred by deep polarization and religious tension.
Anies, previously the culture and education minister in Jokowi’s administration, has been touted by various political observers as one of the strongest candidates for the country’s leadership post in the post-Jokowi era come 2024.
His name was listed among a number of governors and other regional leaders as well as young political figures that had the potential to run in the next presidential election, according to a recent survey by the Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI). (dmy/afr)