Golkar, Democrats may join forces

Golkar, Democrats may join forces
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) presidential candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (second left) poses with members of the Community of Jokowi Friends in Jakarta on Saturday. The community was set up to help Jokowi win the July 9 election.

The Golkar Party and the Democratic Party will decide on Sunday whether to form their own coalition to field Aburizal Bakrie and Pramono Edhie Wibowo in July's presidential election.

A team consisting of executives from both parties has reportedly agreed to propose the pair in the parties' national leadership meetings (Rapimnas).

"Last night or after three days of discussions, the team decided to propose the pair and will report the decision to our respective chairman," senior Golkar politician and current industry minister, MS Hidayat, told The Jakarta Post on Saturday. "However, the decision will be made at each Rapimnas."

With only three days left before registration closes for the presidential race, Golkar and the Democrats are still in limbo while other parties have decided to join the coalitions led by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Gerindra Party.

Based on the results of April's legislative election, Golkar and the Democrats garnered about 27 per cent of the seats at the House of Representatives. The alliance between the two parties, if materialized, would be enough to enable the two parties to cross the electoral threshold required for presidential nomination.

Under the prevailing law, a political party or a group of political parties must secure at least 25 per cent of the popular vote or 20 per cent of seats at the House to nominate a presidential candidate.

Aburizal, Golkar's chairman and presidential nominee, is on the verge of losing his chance to run in the presidential race.

Several party members have repeatedly expressed concern about his poor electability and called for a review of his candidacy. An alliance with the Democrats is now the only hope for Aburizal to keep his presidential bid alive as no other parties are willing to support him.

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