The Democratic Party's big-tent approach toward selecting a candidate for the upcoming election gets a little bigger this month, as the party's 11 candidates prepare for a series of televised debates in which to articulate their visions for a 2014 presidential run.
"This is an important event," Suaidi Marasabessy, the secretary of the Democratic Party Convention Committee, said on Saturday. "This is so people can get to know the presidential hopefuls from the Democratic Party and hear their missions."
On Jan. 21, the 11 contenders will debate each other in groups of five and six in two cities in Sumatra. Five hopefuls take to the lectern first in Palembang, South Sumatra, while six others debate in Medan, North Sumatra. The two groups will be swapped on Jan. 22, with the larger group making the journey to Palembang for a second debate.
The 11 participants are as follows:
- Ali Masykur Musa, a member of the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK)
- Anies Baswedan, the rector of Paramadina University
- Dahlan Iskan, the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises
- Dino Patti Djalal, former Indonesian ambassador to the United States
- Endriartono Sutarto, former military commander
- Gita Wirjawan, the Minister of Trade
- Hayono Isman, a lawmaker in the House of Representatives
- Irman Gusman, the chairman of the Regional Representative Council
- Marzuki Alie, speaker of the House of Representatives
- Pramono Edhie Wibowo, former Army chief of staff
- Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, the governor of North Sulawesi
The series of debates takes place until April at 11 cities archipelago-wide and will be broadcast from Bandung after Palembang and Medan, followed by Surabaya, Semarang, Balikpapan, Makassar, Manado, Banda Aceh and Padang before the final debate in Jayapura.