Although speculation is rampant about who will be chosen as Jokowi`s vice presidential candidate in the July 2014 presidential election, it will be decided after the legislative elections.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The figure who will be considered as a potential running mate for Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, the presidential aspirant from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), remains unclear.

Although speculation is rampant about who will be chosen as Jokowis vice presidential candidate in the July 2014 presidential election, it will be decided after the legislative elections.

On March 14, the PDIP announced the nomination of Jakartas governor Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, as its presidential candidate in the July 9 presidential election.

Concerning Jokowis ideal running mate, the PDI-P Regional Executive Boards Deputy Chairman Waras Warsito had stated that it would be decided after the legislative elections on April 9, 2014.

"Joko Widodos partner will be decided after the legislative elections, because several factors will influence the determination of the vice presidential candidate to be paired with him," Waras stated here on Thursday.

Waras noted that only if the PDI-P can successfully garner 25 percent of the national votes, or 20 percent of the seats in Parliament, will the party decide on Jokowis running mate from the inner circle.

He added that the vice presidential candidate from the internal party to pair with Jokowi will be from Soekarnos family.

"But if it is not enough, Jokowis partner will probably be from another political party," Waras explained, adding that PDI-Ps Chairperson Mengawati Soekarnoputri at present is only focusing on the victory of her party in the upcoming legislative elections.

He pointed out that many noted figures within the party are capable of becoming Jokowis running mate, including Puan Maharani, Prananda Prabowo and other senior figures from the party.

"But the important thing now is that the people who support Jokowi must be responsible enough to help the PDI-P to win the legislative elections," he noted.

Regarding the chances of the PDI-P in the upcoming legislative elections, its deputy secretary general Ahmad Basarah said on Saturday he was optimistic his party could meet its target of winning up to 27.02 percent of the national votes.

A political observer from the State Indonesia University, Ari Junaedi, said the ideal running mate for Jokowi should be familiar with economic affairs and be able to make up for Jokowis shortcomings.

That person is former Vice President Jusuf Kalla (JK), he said, while emphasizing the former vice presidents experience in economic affairs.

"JK is senior and could lead Jokowi," he said, adding that another person is Abraham Samad, the current chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission.

"They are a hot pair. They also represent the younger generation, with one from Java and the other from outside Java. The two are also corruption-free and committed to eradicating corruption," Ari said.

He noted that Jokowi-Abraham Samad could be the key to the countrys development, as it moves to become the "New Indonesia."

Meanwhile, Jusuf Kalla had reminded Jokowi and the PDI-P to be careful in choosing his partner, particularly in terms of capability and experience to complement each other and to cover each others shortcoming.

Kalla noted that Jokowis running mate should be a figure who has many ideas and innovation to fix the nation.

He also voiced appreciation for PDI-Ps general chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri, who made a brave decision to nominate the Jakarta governor as the presidential candidate for her party.

According to him, Megawati had made a momentous decision as a statesman.

"It is actually not easy for Megawati to make such a decision, because no general chairman of any political party could do so," the former general chairman of the Golkar party said.

Syahganda Nainggolan, the director of Sabang-Merauke Circle (SMC), a public study institute, said Muhammdiyah Central Executive Boards Chairman Din Syamsuddin was an ideal partner for Jokowi, here on Wednesday.

He noted that a meeting between Jokowi and Din Syamsuddin was a special step for Jokowi to gain support from the muslim community, because Din is the leader of the muslim organization and the chairman of Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

Therefore, Syahganda pointed out that the meeting could have a positive impact on Jokowis effort to broaden the base of his political support from the muslim organization.

According to him, the meeting could be interpreted as Jokowis effort to explore the possibility of having Din Syamsuddin as his running mate.

"The assumption of pairing Din Syamsuddin with Jokowi is expected, because the former has the largest number of supporters through the organization he leads in the country," he noted.

The popularity of the Jakarta governor on the national arena will enable him to exert a pull and attract the countrys millions of poor and middle class people.

Jokowi has become popular across the worlds third-biggest democracy because of his down-to-earth manner, focus on delivery and pro-poor policies, such as free healthcare and education.(*)

Reporter: Otniel Tamindael
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2014