Indonesia: Pros and Cons of four potential running mates for Jokowi

  • Potential running mates cited are Jusuf Kalla, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, Budi Gunawan, Moeldoko, Tuan Guru Bajang and Puan Maharani.
  • Kalla – Kalla is well experienced and has a good track record, making him a safe choice. Additionally, he is the incumbent Vice President. However, the constitution prevents a President or Vice President from running more than two terms. This would be a limitation for Kalla, however, there is a technicality that may allow him to run, as his two terms as VP were not consecutive, however this is yet to be confirmed whether or not this can be done.
  • Yudhoyono – His appointment would thaw relations between the PDI-P and the Democratic party, whilst his youth and his social media savviness would make him a popular candidate amongst the lower and middle class. However, his age (39) may make many see him as too young or inexperienced. Additionally, this may affect relations with the ruling coalition party, as he would have chosen someone from outside the coalition, as opposed to someone from a party that has supported him.
  • Gunawan – he is a close ally of PDI-P’s leader, Megawati Soekarnoputri. This would not necessarily be a huge issue should he choose someone else, but Jokowi’s nomination will have to be approved by his party, but in a worst-case scenario, he can run independently. However, Gunawan’s track record isn’t clean, as he was not able to be inaugurated as the national police chief, due to him being a suspect in a graft case. However, charges were dropped against him.
  • Moeldoko – his past in the military may make for a popular pairing between him and Jokowi, as seen by the results of a recent survey, with Moeldoko’s image as a military man would be a counterbalance to Jokowi’s opponent Prabowo, who was also a former General in the army. Additionally, his name was raised in 2014, but he rejected those claims, saying he would rather remain as army chief. He is now the presidential chief of staff. However, Moeldoko’s stance on the role of the military may not be a popular stance, especially following the military rule the country endured in the past.
  • Bajang – in the current political climate, with secularism being at risk of conservative Muslim ideology, having a well respected Muslim scholar as a running mate would be useful for Jokowi, especially in light of recent accusations that he was a Christian, despite him being a devout Muslim. Additionally, the idea of identity politics is beginning to grow in Indonesia, and so having a popular Muslim scholar as a running mate may help him reach out to the masses. However, he is not as well known as compared to other potential candidates, which may result in him not necessarily being as popular an option.
  • Maharani – she is the daughter of Megawati Soekarnoputri, and the granddaughter of Indonesian founding father Sukarno, potentially making her a popular option amongst the people. However, there have been concerns over her competency and the fact that she only has her position due to her blood, as opposed to actual ability, however, these claims would be brushed aside by the PDI-P.

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