Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has chosen Ma'ruf Amin as his running mate in next year's presidential race. Both candidates will register their names with the General Elections Commission, or KPU, on Friday (10/08), which is the last day for registration.
"After input from religious scholars, leaders of political parties, supporters and members of the public ... I decided to run again as a presidential candidate for the 2019-24 period," Jokowi said on Thursday.
"Following many deep considerations ... I decided and have received approval from the coalition parties ... that the one who will accompany me as [the candidate for] vice president is Prof. Dr. KH. Ma'ruf Amin," Jokowi added.
The coalition that supports Jokowi consists of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party, the United Development Party (PPP), the People's Conscience Party (Hanura), the National Democratic Party (NasDem), the National Awakening Party (PKB), the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) and the United Indonesia Party (Perindo), which together exceed the electoral threshold of 20 percent of seats in the House of Representatives.
Since 2015, Ma'ruf, 75, has been serving as the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI). His term at the MUI ends in 2020. He is a prominent member of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the country's largest Muslim organization.
The Islamic scholar is also involved in a presidential team for upholding the five-tenet state ideology of Pancasila. The team is led by PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri.
The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) last month said that Jokowi's electability remains as high as 58.2 percent. The electability of his most probable opponent, Prabowo Subianto, stands at 26.6 percent.
Prabowo has yet to announce his running mate.