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Megawati, Joko a Formidable 2014 Prospect: Analysts  Tapol
 Oct 22, 2012 01:25 PDT 

From Joyo


Megawati, Joko a Formidable 2014 Prospect: Analysts

October 22, 2012
The Jakarta Globe

SP/Carlos Paath, Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Ronna Nirmala

Former President Megawati Sukarnoputri could pair with Jakarta
Governor Joko Widodo to challenge Golkar Party chairman Aburizal
Bakrie, who may win President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s backing in
a potential clash of political heavyweights for the presidency in
2014, analysts said on Sunday.

Such political coalitions, however, would sideline Prabowo Subianto,
founder of the Greater Indonesian Movement Party (Gerindra) and
front-runner in the race as shown by multiple surveys, because he
would likely fail to garner the support needed to run.

According to the law on presidential elections, a candidate must
secure support from a party or a coalition of parties that garner a
minimum of 20 percent of votes during the legislative election.

“I think it’s a big possibility that Megawati will run with Jokowi
if the party can garner close to 20 percent of votes,” said Fachry
Ali, a political expert from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences
(LIPI), referring to the popular nickname of the newly elected Jakarta
governor.

Megawati, the chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of
Struggle (PDI-P), has yet to determine whether she will run for
presidency. Fachry said that while Joko would win if he ran as the
presidential candidate, Megawati ultimately has the power to determine
who will represent PDI-P, the country’s third-largest party based on
the 2009 legislative elections, when it won 14 percent of votes.

“It looks like Megawati still wants to run. If she runs with Jokowi,
the pair has a big chance to win because of the Jokowi factor. He is
now the candidate with the highest electability,” he said.

The pair would be a formidable challenge to whichever candidates
Yudhoyono decides to support, Fachry said, but added that the
president was still the country’s most influential political figure.

Aburizal has tried to persuade Yudhoyono to form a coalition between
the country’s two biggest political forces.

Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party won the 2009 legislative elections with
more than 20 percent of votes nationally, while Golkar came in second
with 14.5 percent.

Priyo Budi Santoso, one of Golkar’s deputy chairmen and a close aide
to Aburizal, said on Saturday that Golkar’s vice presidential
nominee, to be determine next year, would be a Javanese and a member
of Yudhoyono’s inner circle, if not a family member.

Aburizal said on Saturday that he would pick a popular and capable
person to run alongside in 2014.

With Yudhoyono repeatedly insisting that his family members, such as
his sons and wife, would not run in 2014, many have speculated that
Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo, the Army’s chief of staff, would be
tapped as Aburizal’s running mate.

“It’s a good fit if Aburizal can team up with Pramono. Aburizal is
non-Javanese while Pramono is a Javanese,” Fachry said.

Another possibility could see Yudhoyono pair Pramono with Coordinating
Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa, who is the president’s
in-law. But analysts say that combination might be politically
impossible due to the duo’s shared non-Javanese provenance.

“The most politically logical pair is a combination of Javanese and
non-Javanese candidates,” said Aleksius Jemadu, dean of Pelita
Harapan’s School of Social and Political Sciences.

In any scenario, Prabowo appears to draw the short straw, with his
political hopes pinned on garnering the support of the Democratic
Party or PDI-P, each of which has sent signals that an alliance is not
forthcoming.

Some said Megawati was angered after Prabowo was quick to claim credit
for the victory of Joko and Basuki Tjahaja Purnama in the Jakarta
gubernatorial election. She afterward decided not to forge a
partnership with Gerindra in the West Java gubernatorial election,
though Prabowo made several attempts to force the pairing.
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