Jakarta. Golkar Party will decide on Aburizal Bakrie’s running mate and the party’s coalition partners in next month’s national leaders meeting, as it dismissed speculation that it was considering another presidential candidate.
The party will hold the meeting in mid May, Golkar deputy secretary-general Nurul Arifin said on Wednesday. The meeting will neither discuss nor evaluate the party’s decision to nominate Aburizal as its presidential candidate, and Nurul said that it was standing by its decision to pick Aburizal.
“Once [Golkar made its decision on nominating] Aburizal Bakrie, it will always be him. The meeting is not for an evaluation,” Nurul said.
She says that the meeting will discuss who will be Bakrie’s vice presidential running mate and to will evaluate the party's performance in the April 9 legislative election.
Golkar received the second most votes, at 14.20 percent, in the election two weeks ago, according to a quick count tally by LSN. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) received the most, at 19.64 percent. Final results will be released by the General Elections Committee (KPU) on May 9.
Golkar must form a coalition with other political parties in order to meet the minimum 25 percent requirement to field a candidate.
“Golkar hasn’t chosen a vice presidential candidate because we’re still waiting for the KPU’s official result. We will decide who will be our coalition partners and Pak ARB’s [Aburizal Bakrie] running mate,” she said.
Nurul expressed her disappointment with the Indonesian media’s focus on this year’s presidential race primarily on two hopefuls — Joko Widodo of the PDI-P, and Prabowo Subianto of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).
“Lately it’s always about Jokowi [Joko Widodo] and Prabowo, whereas we have ARB. Golkar also got the second most votes in the legislative election,” she said. “I read in the media that it seems like there are only two candidates, Jokowi and Prabowo. ARB is seldom talked about, even though he can be a dark horse [candidate]. If we talk about his capacity, I can say that ARB is capable and has the potential.”