TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Democratic Party has left the Coalition of Change and Unity that supported Anies Baswedan as the presidential candidate for the 2024 presidential election. The Democrats’ proposal of pairing Anies with its party Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono failed after Anies named National Awakening Party (PKB) Chair Muhaimin Iskandar as his running mate.
In a special interview with Tempo, Anies explained that discussions among his supporting parties—NasDem, the Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS), and the Democrat Party—had reached an impasse in determining the vice-presidential candidate they would endorse. On the other hand, the coalition of parties supporting Prabowo Subianto was also stuck in accepting Muhaimin’s desire to be the vice-presidential candidate.
Muhaimin’s fate became even less clear after Golkar and the National Mandate Party (PAN) joined Prabowo’s coalition. Golkar clearly has a larger share of votes and has its own candidate. PAN put forward the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir as Prabowo’s vice-presidential candidate. In an edition two weeks ago, we discussed the possibility of Gibran Rakabuming Raka joining the Prabowo coalition, as he is considered as someone who could unite the coalition.
Lobbying among party leaders continues to be intense. The Democratic Party leadership immediately explored the possibility of forming a coalition with the Prabowo camp and the supporters of Ganjar Pranowo, namely the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). Despite a history of disagreements with Prabowo, it may be more challenging for the Democrats to form a coalition with the PDI-P.
The dispute between PDI-P Chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri and Democrat Party’s Supreme Council Chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is the cause. In the 2004 election, Megawati and SBY became rivals after the SBY’s resignation drama from Megawati’s cabinet. This political scar makes it difficult for the Democrats to form a coalition with the PDI-P.
But politics is the art of managing interests. It is not impossible for the Democrat Party and PDI-P to unite now. For the sake of political victory, old wounds can be ignored. PDI-P leaders hope that Megawati and SBY will reconcile to provide more support for Ganjar.
To be accepted into a coalition with both camps, the Democrat Party has adjusted its offer. They no longer expect Ganjar or Prabowo to choose AHY as the vice-presidential candidate.
In addition to exploring coalitions with the Prabowo and Ganjar camps, the Democrat Party is preparing a third scenario, which is to establish a new axis. The condition, of course, is to be able to partner with other parties to meet the presidential threshold.
In the PDI-P coalition, the fate of Sandiaga Uno from the United Development Party (PPP) is also unclear. The Democrat Party could potentially approach the PPP to join forces and attract the PKS away from the Anies Baswedan coalition. A combination of the Democrat Party, PPP, and PKS would be enough present a presidential and vice-presidential candidate pair.
The presidential nomination threshold that was proposed by the major parties has now trapped them in confusion when determining coalitions. If there were no presidential threshold, the political ambitions of party leaders to become president would be unimpeded.
Hopefully, they will realize this and revise the issue of the threshold in the next period. Therefore, we could have more choices for presidential candidates, especially alternative presidential candidates who are not controlled by party bosses behind them. Happy reading and have a great week.
The current dispute over the selection of presidential candidates and their running mates stems from the nomination threshold. People do not have much of a choice of potential leaders.
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