In search of indonesia`s presidential candidates

In search of indonesia`s presidential candidates

"There are several candidates who have not entered the public`s minds."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia will hold its presidential elections in 2014, but until now, the country is unaware of the public`s favorite candidate.

However, it does not mean that Indonesia lacks qualified leaders that are fit to be a president. There are many young and talented people who have not come into the public`s view. Indonesia has a number of potential leaders who could be nominated in the 2014 presidential race.

"It is not that we do not have qualified leaders. In fact, we have a number of potential leaders who have not come into the public`s view yet," said Kuskridho Ambardi, executive director of the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI).

Potential leaders will emerge once they have the right capabilities and qualifications. "Their ability to solve a specific national problem should be discussed at a later stage. What`s important is that they have the capability, integrity and the necessary qualifications," Kuskridho said.

However, he believes that many leaders will emerge, but they may not come from the nation`s political parties.

"This will depend on whether they are keen on getting nominated," Kuskridho said.

He said a number of surveys conducted by the LSI show that a lot of Indonesians have not declared their favorite candidate.

A survey conducted by the LSI show that Mahfud MD, chairman of the Constitutional Court (MK), is popular among many people.

In the meantime, the Indonesia Survey Institute (INSIS) announced the results of its survey where a young leader of the Golkar Party, Priyo Budi Santoso, who is also a deputy house speaker, was ranked high on the popularity index.

Unlike candidates who had been nominated in previous presidential campaigns, including Jusuf Kalla (former vice president), Wiranto (chairman of the People's Conscience Party/Hanura), Prabowo Subianto (chairman of the Greatest Indonesian Movement Party/Gerindra), and Megawati Soekarnoputri (former president), Priyo Budi Santoso and Mahfud MD are two individuals who have been mentioned for the first time.

In a survey conducted by the LSI, Mahfud MD was ranked high on the popularity index, followed by four national figures, including the former vice president, Jusuf Kalla, the State-owned Enterprise Minister, Dahlan Iskan, the former finance minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and the former chairman of the People`s Consultative Assembly (MPR), Hidayat Nur Wahid.

It also listed other likely candidates, including Agus A Martowardojo (finance minister), Djoko Suyanto (chief political and security affairs minister), Gita Wirjawan (trade minister), Endriarto Sutarto (former defense forces chief), Surya Paloh (national assembly chairman of the National Democratic Party/Nasdem), Pramono Edhie Wibowo (chief of the Army), Puan Maharani (daughter of Megawati), and Kristiani Herawati (wife of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono).

The results of the survey conducted by the INSIS show that Priyo Budi Santoso has the support of 10.37 percent of the respondents (for elections), followed by Pramono Anung, a deputy house speaker and former secretary general of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle/PDIP (9.25 percent), Hidayat Nur Wahid (8.41 percent), Puan Maharani (8.03 percent), Anas Urbaningrum, chairman of the ruling Democratic Party/PD (7.10 percent) and Luthfi Hasan, president of the Prosperous Justice Party/PKS (5.04 percent).

Mochtar W Oetomo, a researcher at the INSIS, said Priyo Budi Santoso has the support of 53.73 of the respondents (based on the people`s acceptance of the individual for who he is), followed by Puan Maharani (51.02 percent), Pramono Anung (49.53 percent) Hidayat Nur Wahid (47.75 percent), Tjahjo Kumolo, secretary general of PDIP (43.8 percent), Zulkifli Hasan, the forestry minister (41.77 percent), Budiman Sujadmiko, a legislator of PDIP (38.13 percent), and Anas Urbaningrum (37.47 percent).

According to Mochtar, Anas Urbaningrum is the most popular candidate, with the support of 82.05 percent of the respondents, followed by Priyo Budi Santoso (77.10 percent), Hidayat Nur Wahid (74.11 percent), Pramono Anung (73.73 percent), Puan Maharani (71.49 percent), and Akbar Faisal (69.15 percent).

"We surveyed people between the ages of 45 and 55," said Mochtar.

However, Gun Gun Heryanto, a political observer who works at the Syarif Hidyatullah State Islamic University (UIN), is uncertain about the accuracy of the INSIS survey, which claims that Anas Urbaningrum and Hidayat Nur Wahid are among the top five candidates.

"There are several candidates who have not entered the public`s minds," said Gun, on Sunday.

He said the methodology of the survey has to be assessed as there are several candidates (Anas and Hidayat) who are not popular among the public.

"Can Anas still be among the top five if he does not have a good reputation as a young politician?" asked Gun.

He said even though it is not certain as to whether Anas is involved in the Hambalang corruption case, his reputation is at stake.

He also questioned the inclusion of Hidayat Nur Wahid in the list, as Hidayat`s political party, the Prosperous Justice Party/PKS, has not built a positive political image.