Jakarta (Antara News) - The Golkar Party and ruling Democratic Party (PD) are discussing the possibility of forming an alliance in a bid to field candidates for the upcoming July 9, 2014 presidential elections.

Officials are expected to decide whether to join a coalition during their national leadership meetings on Sunday, May 18. If the Golkar Party and the PD agreed to coalesce, there will then be three political alliances which will take part in the upcoming presidential elections.

Two political alliances being mentioned are the coalition which will be led by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (DPIP) with Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, as its presidential candidate, and the other to be led by the Greater Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) with Prabowo Subianto as its presidential hopeful.

Chief Executive of the ruling Democratic Party Sjarifuddin Hasan has confirmed that the party is in the process of forming an alliance with Golkar. "Yes its true," said Sjarifuddin, when contacted on Saturday.

PD has since formed an internal team, called the Team of Six, which will collaborate with representatives of Golkar. The Golkar Party representatives consist of Vice Chairman Agung Laksono, Syarief Tjitjip Soetardjo and Secretary General Idrus Marham.

The DP representatives are Secretary General Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono, Chief Executive Syarif Hasan and Secretary of the Supreme Council Jero Wacik. "The team has to report to the party. Just wait," added Sjarifuddin.

The two parties are likely to nominate Aburizal Bakrie and Pramono Edhie Wibowo to run in the presidential election. The parties held several meetings in the last three days to decide the political line to follow until the final day of the registration of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates by the General Election Commission KPU.

The KPU has set a three-day deadline for electoral contestants to register their presidential candidates, from May 18 to 20, 2014. A political party or group of political parties can nominate presidential and vice presidential candidates if they have secured at least 25 percent of the votes cast during the April 9 legislative elections or gained at least 20 percent of the 560 seats in the House.

The Golkar Party has secured 91 seats in the House, while the PD won 61 seats. If they formed a coalition, the alliance will have 152 seats in the House, or about 27.14 percent of the total parliamentary seats.

Further, Golkar representatives were seen during the past few days lobbying with the PDIP and projecting a message that it was trying to move closer to the PDIP. Yet now it seems it is attempting to form a coalition with the Democratic Party.

An earlier political alliance constellation held that the National Awakening Party (PKB), the National Democrat Party (NasDem) and the Golkar Party were to have closed ranks with the PDIP alliance, while the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the United Development Party (PPP) have officially declared an alliance with Gerindra.

Two other electoral contestants, Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the Peoples Conscience Party (Hanura), were inclined to join the Gerindra and PDIP alliances.

On Saturday, in the run-up to the KPU registration deadline on May 18-20, 2014, Hanura again stated that it would join PDIP, while PKS will support Gerindra.

Hanura decided to join PDIP and follow Nasdem and PKB. "Hanura and PDIP have been together for quite a long time during the second term of the government of current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono," Hanura general chairman Wiranto said after meeting with PDIP general chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri to discuss the deal.

Wiranto said the cooperation between Hanura and PDIP in the past five years has created an understanding that the two parties have a common platform.

"The cooperation has created solidarity, trust, understanding and a common platform to fight to improve the welfare of the people," he said.

In the meantime, the PKS has also announced that it will join the Gerindra led coalition.

"PKS agrees with Prabowos vision and agenda in the 2014 presidential elections for protecting the independence and the development of Indonesia," PKS Deputy Secretary General Mahfudz Siddiq said here on Saturday.

He added that Indonesia needed a strong and firm leader to carry out that vision. Prabowo is such a leader, he added.

Mahfudz said the coalition parties were expected to discuss the issue of choosing a vice-presidential candidate.

They will also discuss the respective tasks which would make the coalition a success, he added.

"The declaration will shortly be made before the deadline for the registration with the General Elections Commission (KPU) passes," he stressed.

Thus, if the Golkar Party creates a coalition with the ruling Democratic Party, there will be three alliances of political parties which will take part in the July 9 presidential elections.

They are the DPIP, Gerindra and Golkar alliances.

With the latest political alliance, the PDIP, which won 109 seats in the House, will lead a coalition with members consisting of PKB (47 seats), NasDem (35 seats) and Hanura (16 seats) with a total of 207 seats, or 36.96 percent of the seats in the parliament.

The second largest alliance is led by Gerindra, which secured 73 seats with members holding the PKS (40 seats), PAN (49 seats) and PPP (39 seats). The Gerindra alliance has 201 combined seats, or about 35.89 percent of the 560 seats in the House.

Meanwhile, the Golkar and PD alliance has 152 seats, or 27.14 percent of the 560 parliamentary seats.***1***


(T.A014/A/KR-BSR/A/H-YH) 17-05-2014 19:34:17

Reporter: Andi Abdussalam
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2014