Golkar looking for veep candidate among javanese

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A Golkar Party executive said the party will be considering vice presidential candidates at the fourth national leadership meeting next month.

"There are three criteria for choosing the candidate who will be Abu Rizal Bakrie`s running mate; one of them is that he/she must be Javanese," the deputy general chairman of one of the country`s largest political parties, Fadel Muhammad, told Antara here on Friday.

To be eligible, the candidate must also be able to work well with Abu Rizal Bakrie.

Fadel declined to divulge the names of candidates under consideration.

The party is currently divided on the issue of announcing the vice presidential candidate.

He noted that some party members believe the decision must be publicized by the end of the year, while others hold that it should only be announced after the results of the legislative elections have been posted.

By law, only parties that win 20 percent of the national vote are allowed to field their own presidential candidate in the upcoming election.

Fadel said if Golkar could garner 20 percent of the votes in the legislative elections, the party would not coalesce with any others in nominating its general chairman, Abu Rizal Bakrie, as its presidential candidate.

However, if the party collects less than 20 percent of the votes, it will have to coalesce with other parties, he remarked.

"If we are able to collect only 18 percent of the votes, we would have to find two percent more votes to be able to nominate our own candidate," he explained.

Fadel pointed out that no one had complained about Abu Rizal Bakrie`s candidacy, even as his popularity continued to rise, according to various surveys.

"There is no longer a problem with regard to Abu Rizal Bakrie`s candidacy. His eligibility has been increasing, according to various surveys," he claimed.

The Golkar party had initially planned to hold the leadership meeting on Oct. 20, but this was later rescheduled to the middle of November because of problems with the venue and agenda.

Several party figures denied that the postponement was linked to the alleged involvement of some party members in the alleged bribery case of non-active Constitutional Court chief judge Akil Mochtar.

Fadel said the party will also discuss ways of winning the legislative elections in April 2014 at the upcoming leadership meeting.

The current president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, from the ruling Democrat Party will not be able to seek re-election because he has already held the post for two consecutive terms. To find a new candidate, the party must hold a party convention.

Another major political party, the Indonesia Democratic Party Struggle (PDIP), has not revealed its candidate, but another of its members, Joko Widodo, who is currently Jakarta`s governor, has been touted as the party`s strongest candidate.

Reporting by Imam Budilaksono