Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie on Thursday named five potential vice presidential candidates to run with him in the 2014 election.
“So far, the proposals from the regions are five [names], and they are Mr. Mahfud, the sultan, Pramono, Sukarwo and Mrs. Khofifah. We are accommodating all proposals,” Aburizal told journalists in Jakarta.
He was referring to the chairman of the Constitutional Court, Mahfud MD, Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, East Java Governor Sukarwo, Army chief Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo and Khofifah Indar Parawansa, a politician from the National Awakening Party (PKB) and also chairwoman of the women’s wing of the country’s largest Islamic organization in the country, Nahdlatul Ulama.
He said the sultan was proposed by the party’s Yogyakarta chapter, Pramono by the East Kalimantan chapter, Sukarwo by the East Java chapter and Mahfud and Khofifaf were proposed by several provincial branches.
Aburizal said all chapters were free to propose individuals for the party’s vice presidential candidate and all inputs would be considered before the final choice was made.
“The proposals may still possibly increase and we are giving all regional chapters the freedom to express their views,” he said.
He said that there was no decision yet on which candidate would ultimately run alongside him in 2014.
“We will see the political developments. The national leadership meeting has not yet decided on the vice presidential candidate,” Aburizal said.
Deputy Golkar chairman Syarif Cicip Sutardjo said he would leave the matter fully up to Aburizal, but added that the criteria for the candidates should be set down by the party and be based on electability.
“We have not yet discussed the vice presidential candidate, but the party will set down the criteria. The final word will be in the hands of Mr. Aburizal,” Cicip said during a press conference on preparations for the party’s national leadership meeting.
Cicip, who is also the fisheries and maritime affairs minister, said the meeting would be held in Bogor, West Java, on Friday and Saturday. He said up to 20,000 party members are expected to attend.
The meeting, he said, will officially declare Aburizal as the party’s 2014 presidential candidate, with no guarantee that his running mate will also be decided by week’s end.