"Many parties have approached me but I have chosen Nasdem."
Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) - Former defense forces commander retired army general Endriartono Sutarto has said that he had approached the National Democrat (Nasdem) Party in his bid to run for president in 2014.

"Many parties have approached me but I have chosen Nasdem because other parties have disappointed the people," he said in a discussion on presidential candidates for 2014 at state Airlangga University here on Tuesday.

Endriartono is one of the 14 alternative presidential candidates surveyed by the LSI survey institute.

He said he was grateful he had been chosen as one of the alternative candidates by 223 opinion leaders in the LSI survey.

"I only knew I had been chosen as one of the alternative candidates by LSI when I was asked to come here. Therefore I was grateful and more so if the decision of the opinion leaders would finally become a public choice," he said.

He said as a soldier he would never use a military approach and he had proven it in Aceh and it had benefit people more.

Endriartono Sutarto was ranked 14th among 24 candidates chosen by 223 opinion leaders from among academics, media leaders, businessmen, lawyers, public figures, ex-soldiers and others in the January-May 2012 period.

Those in the list of 14 are Mahfud MD, Dahlan Iskan, Sri Mulyani, Hidayat Nurwahid, Agus Martowardoyo, Djoko Suyanto, Gita Wirjawan, Chairul Tanjung, Endriartono Sutarto, Surya Paloh, Pramono Edhi Wibowo, Soekarwo, Puan Maharani and Any Yudhoyono.

"A gap did occur between the choices of opinion leaders and the public as opinion leaders choose based on capability while the public on popularity," political observer from Airlangga University Hariyadi MA said with regard to the 14 candidates.

In view of that social engineering is needed to make the irrational public to be rational, he said.

LSI director Hendro Prasetyo PhD shared his view saying "the public indeed has not been rational in making a choice and they would never be able to choose quality leaders unless we educate them," he said.

Therefore the Indonesia Magazine 2014 led by Goenawan Mohammad funded a survey with an aim of providing different information to the public to give them political education "Indeed it takes a long time but it must be started," he said.

The chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), Otto Iskandar, meanwhile expressed hope that people would not choose candidates that have been considered having violated human rights.

"If people choose candidates who are indicated as having violated human rights before people would be hurt because candidates like them would never respect differences so if one of them become a leader later he would hurt the people," he said.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2012