Political Parties still in search of their presidential running mates ahead of Indonesian election in 2024

INDONESIA: With just two and a half months left before the registration of presidential and vice-presidential candidates with the General Election Commission (KPU), no political party coalition has announced their vice-presidential candidate (RI-2) so far.

Currently, three active coalitions of political parties are making moves in preparation for the 2024 Presidential Election (Pilpres 2024). However, the search for vice-presidential candidates appears to be stagnant. Let’s take a closer look at the three coalitions:

  1. Coalition of Great Indonesia’s Awakening (KKIR): This coalition comprises Gerindra Party and Nation Awakening Party (PKB).While the coalition is likely to select Prabowo Subianto as their presidential candidate (bacapres), they have yet to make an official declaration.

    Partai Gerindra has consistently expressed that the strongest candidate for vice president in KKIR is the Chairman of PKB, Muhaimin Iskandar.

    However, PKB is also being approached by the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). Prabowo is reportedly close to Erick Thohir, the State-Owned Enterprises Minister.

  2. Coalition of PDI-P, United Development Party (PPP), Indonesia United Party (Perindo), and People‚Äôs Conscience Party (Hanura): This coalition has chosen Ganjar Pranowo as their presidential candidate (bacapres).PDI-P’s Head of the Central Executive Board, Puan Maharani, revealed that they have narrowed down the choices for the vice-presidential candidate to five names: Erick, Sandiaga Uno, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY), Muhaimin, and Andika Perkasa.
  3. Coalition Change for Unity (KPP): This coalition includes National Democratic Party (Nasdem), Democratic Party, and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).They are backing the former Governor of DKI Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, as their presidential candidate (RI-1).

    Although AHY was once mentioned as the strongest candidate for vice president alongside Anies, Nasdem has introduced a new name: Yenny Wahid, the daughter of the late President Abdurrahman Wahid.

    Anies has also met with former Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister, Susi Pudjiastuti.

Behind the dynamics of these negotiations, there are factors such as differing views among coalition parties on suitable presidential and vice-presidential candidates and political strategies to wait for candidate developments and electability.

However, one significant factor causing complexities in the search for running mates is President Joko Widodo‘s involvement. Many parties still involve Jokowi in determining the vice-presidential candidates.

For example, the Secretary-General of PDI-P, Hasto Kristiyanto, stated that Megawati Soekarnoputri, the Chairwoman of PDI-P, will decide Ganjar’s running mate after consulting with other party leaders and Jokowi.

Similar reports came from other parties. The Chairman of PPP, Muhamad Mardiono, reported the party’s decision to nominate Sandiaga Uno to Jokowi, while the Chairman of Partai Nasdem, Surya Paloh, was also questioned by Jokowi about Anies’s running mate.

Political analysts see Jokowi’s continued influence as a key reason behind the prolonged negotiations.

Public satisfaction with Jokowi remains high, which gives him significant sway over constituencies, even though he won’t be participating in the upcoming elections. Parties are seeking to stay close to Jokowi and his network of supporters to gain an advantage in the race for vice president.

On the other hand, some analysts also believe that Jokowi may use the selection of vice-presidential candidates as leverage to negotiate his interests with different coalitions, indicating his ongoing importance in Indonesian politics.

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