Jakarta. Great Indonesia Movement Party – Gerindra’s presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has picked former Coordinating Minister for Economics Hatta Rajasa as his vice presidential running mate. The former Special Forces Commander named Hatta at Polonia House, Jakarta, this afternoon.
This ticket is endorsed by a coalition of Gerindra with the powerful Golkar party and Islamic based parties – National Mandate Party (PAN), United Development Party (PPP), and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). Gerindra itself is still waiting final decision of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono whether it will join this huge coalition. Prabowo-Hatta is planning to register their nomination to the Electoral Commission, tomorrow afternoon which is the last day of nomination day.
Hatta Rajasa, 61, is chairman of PAN, a moderate Islamic party. He is a Palembang Malay and a very experienced cabinet minister since 2001. Previously, he held several ministerial posts including the State Secretary, Minister for Transportation as well as Minister for Research and Technology. These governmental experiences will be an advantage for the ticket. Australian National University (ANU) Indonesia expert Professor Greg Fealy describes Hatta as “machine man”. Hatta is expected to deliver critical Muhammadiyah votes that mantain close relationship with PAN.
As Golkar decides to endorse Prabowo’s candidacy, it is now clear the July presidential election will be a showdown between Prabowo – Hatta and Joko “Jokowi” Widodo – Jusuf Kalla (JK). The latest survey shows that the Prabowo – Hatta ticket is trailing behind Jokowi – JK. Survey by the leading survey institute Indikator Politik put Jokowi – JK on 51.0% while Prabowo – Hatta on 32.4%. The Jokowi – JK ticket was earlier declared this afternoon,12 pm at Gedung Juang 45, Jakarta (19/5/2014).