Saturday, September 30, 2023

Democratic Party Disavows Anies Baswedan's Coalition over Running Mate Dispute

Anisa Fauziah
September 1, 2023 | 11:28 pm
The screen capture shows Democratic Party founder Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono addressing party executives at his private residence Puri Ciekas in Bogor, West Java, Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. (Videography)
The screen capture shows Democratic Party founder Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono addressing party executives at his private residence Puri Ciekas in Bogor, West Java, Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. (Videography)

Bogor. The Democratic Party on Friday decided an immediate withdrawal from the coalition of political parties that had been supporting former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan's candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.

This decision came in response to Anies reneging on his promise to select the party chairman, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, as his running mate. Instead, he opted for an outsider as his pick, a senior Democratic Party politician revealed.

Andi Mallarangeng, secretary of the party's high council, read out the party's decisions from an internal meeting during a news conference in Bogor, West Java: "Firstly, the Democratic Party withdraws its support for Anies Baswedan in the 2024 presidential election."

"Secondly, the Democratic Party is no longer a part of the Coalition for Change and Unity due to a breach of the existing agreement," he added.


The meeting was led by party founder and former two-term president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The coalition originally consisted of the Democratic Party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), and the National Democratic Party (Nasdem).

News emerged the day before that Nasdem Chairman Surya Paloh and Anies had agreed to nominate National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairman Muhaimin Iskandar as their running mate.

Although PKB had previously been a part of another coalition supporting Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto's candidacy for the 2024 election, Muhaimin, who appeared to have lost the chance to become Prabowo's running mate, switched allegiance to the Anies camp.

With the arrival of PKB, which has a substantial support base in East Java, the Democratic Party's departure may have minimal or no impact on the Anies coalition.

However, it is now the Democratic Party that must seek new partners, as the law mandates that all parties must have a presidential candidate; otherwise, they risk being banned from participating in the next general elections.

Like most other incumbent parties, the Democratic Party cannot independently nominate a candidate because it falls short of the 20 percent threshold of House of Representatives seats required for an independent candidacy and must form a coalition.

During a lengthy address to Democratic Party leaders earlier in the day, Susilo criticized Anies for being "dishonest" and admitted that supporting him in the first place had been a mistake.

The party also published a photograph of a handwritten letter purportedly signed by Anies, indicating his desire to team up with Agus for the presidential election, supporting their claim that the candidate had betrayed the consensus with the Democratic Party.

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