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Jakarta Post

Jokowi meets PAN chairman, admits discussing coalition

  • Dyaning Pangestika & Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, October 14, 2019   /   09:07 pm
Jokowi meets PAN chairman, admits discussing coalition President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (second right), accompanied by Vice President Jusuf Kalla (right), People’s Consultative Assembly speaker Zulkifli Hasan (second left) and House of Representatives speaker Bambang Soesatyo, arrives at the House/Assembly building in Jakarta on Aug. 16 to deliver his annual speech. (Antara/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo continued his agenda of meeting with erstwhile opposition party leaders on Monday as he welcomed National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman Zulkifli Hasan for a talk at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta.

Speaking after the meeting, Jokowi said the two discussed various topics about the country’s economy and politics, including the plan of the People’s Representative Assembly to amend the 1945 Constitution.

Jokowi also admitted to discussing the possibility of PAN joining the coalition backing his second term when asked by journalists about the matter.

“Yes we did, but it’s not yet finalized,” Jokowi said on Monday.

The President’s meeting with Zulkifli marks the third time in less than a week that the former has met political party leaders who stood against him in April’s presidential election.

Jokowi invited on Friday Gerindra Party chairman and former presidential candidate rival Prabowo Subianto to the Palace, which followed a meeting between the President and his predecessor and Democratic Party patron Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday.

Jokowi said he discussed with Prabowo and Yudhoyono the possibility of both Gerindra and the Dems joining his upcoming Cabinet.

Zulkifli, however, played down any speculation when asked about whether there had been a discussion with Jokowi about a possible merger with PAN for the next Cabinet.

“There is none, because it’s the President’s prerogative,” he said.

In April’s election, PAN was in the coalition supporting Prabowo’s presidential bid, alongside Gerindra, the Democrats and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

Of the four parties supporting the former general, only the PKS has so far maintained a firm stance of remaining outside Jokowi’s coalition.