Jokowi Coalition Agrees on VP Candidate; Kalla May Potentially Run for Third Term

President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo will likely announce the name of his vice-presidential candidate within the next few weeks amid the possibility that the incumbent, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, could qualify to run for a third term. (Antara Photo/Kornelis Kaha)

By : Sarah Yuniarni and Sheany | on 8:22 PM July 25, 2018
Category : Politics, Featured, News

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will likely announce the name of his vice-presidential candidate within the next few weeks amid the possibility that the incumbent, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, could qualify to run for a third term.

The six political parties supporting Jokowi's bid for reelection met with him at the Bogor Palace, where he resides, on Monday evening (24/07) to decide who would be his running mate.

People's Conscience Party (Hanura) chairman Oesman Sapta Odang said the six parties were unanimous in their decision.

"The choice will be in the hands of the president, on who will be best to fill the vice-presidential position. And we have all agreed unanimously [on a candidate]," Oesman said, as quoted by Suara Pembaruan.

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri, National Democratic Party (NasDem) chairman Surya Paloh, Golkar Party chairman Airlangga Hartarto, United Development Party (PPP) chairman Muhammad Romahurmuziy and National Awakening Party (PKB) chairman Muhaimin Iskandar also attended the meeting.

It was the party leaders' first meeting as a group since they separately declared their support for Jokowi's re-election bid.

The General Elections Commission (KPU) allows the submission of names of presidential candidates until Aug. 10.

Third Term for Kalla?

With just more than two weeks until the August deadline, Kalla is challenging the country's election system in the Constitutional Court.

Kalla filed an application on Friday (20/07) through his legal representative, Irmanputra Sidin, in the court as a "related party" in a hearing on a judicial review of a petition filed by the United Indonesia Party (Perindo).

As was previously reported, Perindo is challenging Article 169 of the 2017 Elections Law, which prohibits presidents and vice presidents from running for third terms, irrespective of whether they served consecutive terms or not.

"Let's wait for the Constitutional Court's decision," Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said on Sunday, adding that candidates should be prohibited from running for third terms if they already served two consecutive terms as president or vice president.

He declined to comment on whether Kalla would run for the third term next year.

Seventy-five-year-old Kalla is currently serving his second term as vice president, first having served in the same position under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2004-09.

The veteran politician is deemed an ideal candidate by supporters of the pro-Jokowi coalition.

Irmanputra, who is also a constitutional law expert, meanwhile said Kalla offers his insight as a "related party" to the court regarding the disputed Article 7.

Article 7 states that the president and vice president should serve in their posts for five years and "may be re-elected for a next term, for only one period."

Irmanputra said the article requires a more detailed explanation.

"The phrase 'for only one period' is only applicable to the highest holder of power [in the country], the president, and not for the vice president," he said.

He expects the court to issue a verdict before the August deadline.

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