INDONESIA: In a surprising turn of events, Ganjar Pranowo, a potential presidential candidate backed by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) and coalition parties, recently posted a photo on his Instagram account, @ganjar_pranowo, that has sent ripples through the political landscape.
The image captured Ganjar and Mahfud MD, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs (Menko Polhukam), sharing a moment over coffee on Sunday (10 Sept).
“Having coffee with him makes the evening even more enjoyable. Thank you, Prof @mohmahfudmd,” wrote Ganjar in the post.
In the photo, Ganjar can be seen wearing a long-sleeved red batik shirt, while Mahfud MD opts for a more formal suit. Both are seated comfortably, legs crossed, with warm smiles on their faces.
The candid moment seemed to convey an air of camaraderie and hinted at a possible political partnership.
The Instagram post quickly gained traction among netizens, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response.
As of Monday morning (11 Sept), the photo had garnered over 143,407 likes and was flooded with hundreds of comments.
Many netizens expressed their support for the two politicians potentially teaming up as presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the 2024 elections.
One user, @pratiwial****, wrote, “Is this a sign that Pak Mahfud is becoming Pak Ganjar’s running mate? We hope so. Whoever the vice-president is, we will always support Mr. Ganjar wholeheartedly for the sake of our country.”
Similarly, @karuhunto**** commented, “I agree completely, Pak Ganjar and Pak Mahfud MD would be an ideal duo to tackle corruption and lead Indonesia forward. Their integrity is unquestionable.”
Another user, @ganjarist****, said, “A warm smile from a potential leader of the nation and a humble figure. Regardless of the vice-president choice, we will continue to support Mr. Ganjar.”
Excitement was palpable among netizens, as @Syifa***** expressed, “Wow, this will be exciting if they become a real pair. InshaAllah, many will support them; they are resolute against corruption. I will always support Pak Ganjar, no matter who the vice president is, but I think Pak Mahfud would be a great choice.”
Potential running mate for Ganjar
For context, Mahfud MD’s name had previously emerged as a potential running mate for Ganjar.
He was considered one of the strongest contenders to accompany Ganjar in the vice-presidential race.
Regarding the meeting, Deddy Sitorus, Secretary of the Ganjar Campaign Volunteer Coordination Team and a PDIP politician, confirmed that it took place in Jakarta.
However, he refrained from specifying the exact date of the meeting.
Deddy also shed light on the topics discussed during their conversation. He mentioned that their conversation covered a range of subjects, including politics, law, security, and the 2024 elections.
“Naturally, they talked about general topics. Primarily, they discussed political, legal, and security matters because Mr. Mahfud is the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, and he has a strong background in that area. Additionally, they touched on the 2024 elections,” Deddy explained.
While Deddy did not confirm any political decisions, he acknowledged the efforts to build a strong rapport with potential vice-presidential candidates.
The nation now eagerly awaits further developments, as the political landscape in Indonesia continues to evolve, with the possibility of Ganjar Pranowo and Mahfud MD emerging as a formidable presidential ticket.