Golkar Party Has General Idea for VP Candidate
Arientha Primanita & Ezra Sihite
With the Democratic Party backing down from proposals to nominate first lady Ani Yudhoyono as its presidential candidate in 2014, the spotlight has now turned to her brother — who might be on the ticket of the ruling party’s chief rival.
Agung Laksono, deputy chairman of the Golkar Party, said on Tuesday that Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo, the Army Chief of Staff and Ani’s younger brother, was being considered as a possible running mate to Golkar chairman Aburizal Bakrie.
“It’s just an idea at this point. We’re still considering our options and nothing’s been confirmed yet,” Agung said.
He added Pramono would be a good fit with Aburizal, but “whether he’s willing to go for it is up to him.”
Pundits have long identified Pramono as a possible contender in 2014, given that his Javanese ethnicity and military background are two qualities considered key to winning the presidency.
The Democrats, however, were quick to play down the possibility of an Aburizal-Pramono ticket.
Max Sopacua, the party’s deputy chairman, said Pramono should be allowed to focus on his job in the military and not be distracted by politics.
“I call on all parties to recognize that he needs to concentrate on his job. If there is talk about nominating him, it shouldn’t just be public opinion,” he said.
Max acknowledged that Pramono had the makings of a leader, although whether he would settle for the vice presidency rather than the presidency was doubtful.
“The man makes decisions firmly and he’s very principled. That’s how the Democrats see him,” he said. “As for nominating him as a vice presidential candidate, I’d have to question if he would want that.”
Another Javanese ex-military man who has thrown his hat into the ring for 2014 is Prabowo Subianto, Pramono’s commander in the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus).