Jakarta. National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairman Muhaimin Iskandar met with House of Representatives Speaker Puan Maharani during a visit to the Kalibata Heroes’ Cemetery in South Jakarta on Sunday and used the occasion to talk about a potential collaboration for the 2024 presidential election.
The surprise meeting took place just a month after Muhaimin led the PKB to cement a coalition with Prabowo Subianto’s Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).
Prabowo was quick to declare himself as a presidential nominee because the coalition means that both parties pass the threshold of 20 percent of House seats to appoint a candidate for the 2024 election. However, he stopped short of immediately naming a running mate.
During his meeting with Puan, Muhaimin revealed his ambition to become the next vice president, and the House speaker responded: “I pray for you, God willing, and amen to that.”
The daughter of Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri also indicated that her party is open to a collaboration with the PKB, saying: “Nothing is impossible in politics.”
In reply, Muhaimin expressed his wish that Puan will be nominated by the PDI-P as a presidential candidate and became ambiguous when he said he may become a running mate for Puan despite having forged a coalition with Prabowo.
“We have a long road ahead and let’s have a test whether it’s going to be Prabowo-Cak Imin or Puan-Cak Imin,” Muhaimin said, using his own nickname.
With 22 percent of House seats, the PDI-P is the only party that doesn’t need a coalition to nominate its own presidential candidate.
A coalition with Prabowo’s Gerindra is unlikely now after the defense minister declared himself a presidential candidate.
A day after the Kalibata meeting, Prabowo said Muhaimin has the right to decide his political move but reminded him that "we have an agreement".