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The vice chairman of the National Democratic Party (NasDem) criticizes Anies Baswedan’s criteria for Vice Presidential candidate

Vice Chairman of NasDem Party criticizes Anies Baswedan’s criteria for VP candidate, urging prompt announcement and preference for NU figure.



In a recent development within Indonesia’s political landscape, Ahmad Ali, the Vice Chairman of the National Democratic (NasDem) Party, has raised strong criticisms against the potential presidential candidate from his party, Anies Baswedan. The controversy revolves around the criteria set by Anies for his vice-presidential candidate in the upcoming 2024 elections.

Ali emphasized that the responsibility of defining the criteria for a vice-presidential candidate should rest with the political party itself. He stated, “Anies should not be talking about criteria. In essence, Anies doesn’t need to establish criteria because it should be the political party’s role. The mandate given to Anies is to find a vice president, so why is he creating criteria now? It’s quite amusing, isn’t it?” These statements were made during an interview on Friday (21 Jul).

Ahmad Ali, the Vice Chairman of the National Democratic (NasDem) Party

According to Ali, Anies should have formulated his vice-presidential criteria from the outset when he was announced as a presidential candidate. He added that setting criteria on an ad hoc basis gives the impression of tailoring the candidate selection to favor specific individuals or obstructing others.

Ali further urged Anies to promptly announce his chosen vice-presidential candidate once the criteria have been established. He expressed his concern that delaying the announcement could create speculation and unnecessary controversy surrounding the selection process.

Earlier, Anies Baswedan, the presidential candidate from the Koalisi Perubahan untuk Persatuan (Coalition for Unity of Change), disclosed his criteria for a vice-presidential candidate during an event in Jakarta on Thursday (20 Jul). He emphasized that the candidate should be problem-free and courageous. However, Ali advised against Anies’ move to add new criteria, arguing that this could lead to public misinterpretations.

The confusion deepens as Ali pointed out that the “kriteria nomor 0” mentioned by Anies, implying a candidate without issues and courage, only resulted in the emergence of speculations within the Democratic Party, a member of the coalition. The Democratic Party speculated that the criteria align with their potential vice-presidential candidate, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY).

In response, Ali asserted that it is entirely appropriate for the Democratic Party to assume the criteria suit AHY, given his alignment with Anies Baswedan so far.

Ali emphasized that Anies should not be meddling in the selection process beyond his mandate, as it is the responsibility of the Coalition’s Political Parties to set the criteria for the vice-presidential candidate. He remarked, “The mandate given to Anies is to find a vice president. So, why is he creating criteria now? It’s quite amusing, isn’t it?”

Ali expressed a personal preference for a vice-presidential candidate from the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) in East Java. He believes that selecting a figure with ties to NU in that region would benefit Anies’ chances of victory, especially considering his relatively weak electability in East Java and Central Java.

As the Coalition for Unity of Change focuses on securing a win in the upcoming elections, Ali stressed that Anies’ vice-presidential candidate should possess the ability to aid in securing votes in Java. He concluded, “If you want to win, that’s how it should be. But if you just want to progress, then pick anyone. It’s that simple.”

Notably, two NU figures have been rumored as potential vice-presidential candidates for Anies: Khofifah Indar Parawansa, the Governor of East Java, and Zannuba Ariffah Chafsoh or Yenny Wahid. Their association with NU has drawn considerable attention in the ongoing political discourse.

The matter remains under discussion, with party leaders, politicians, and the public closely following the developments to see who will ultimately be selected as Anies Baswedan’s running mate in the upcoming 2024 Presidential Elections.

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