The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has voiced its objection to a proposal that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo be paired with Vice President Jusuf Kalla in the 2019 presidential election.
It would not be possible to endorse Kalla as Jokowi’s running mate as it could violate the 1945 Constitution, PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto said.
Kalla has been the vice president for both Jokowi and his predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Article 7 of the Constitution bans a president and vice president from contending the election after serving for two periods.
“It is the regulation that bars him from running again,” said Hasto on the sidelines of the PDI-P’s closed door national working meeting on Saturday.
With Kalla’s re-nomination unlikely, Hasto said he would make sure that the ruling party would work closely with Kalla in finding the best running mate for Jokowi because of Kalla’s “thorough knowledge of the challenges that the country is facing”.
Hasto said he was convinced that discussions between the party and Kalla would be constructive, citing good relations between Kalla and PDI-P leader Megawati Soekarnoputri.
“We will definitely involve Pak [Jusuf Kalla] in the process.”
Political lobbying to find Jokowi’s running mate intensified on Friday after the PDI-P officially announced its endorsement for the incumbent candidate.
Four political parties – the Golkar Party, the United Development Party (PPP), the Hanura Party and the NasDem Party — preceded the ruling party in making the declaration. Like the PDI-P, these parties have also proposed to nominate their own members as Jokowi’s running mate.
Speculation is rife that Jokowi is considering appointing Kalla, his running mate in 2014, as his vice presidential candidate in 2019 to avoid upsetting some of the political parties that support him.
Jokowi, however, has said he would consult with his coalition partners about the vice-presidential candidate.