Indonesia’s presidential election 2014 sees first candidate
SINGAPORE: Indonesia’s presidential election is still two years away but the influential Golkar party has already selected its candidate to succeed President Susuilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Businessman, Aburizal Bakrie, is also the first name put forward for the presidential race in 2014. It was nothing less than a unanimous decision with only one name put forward by delegates at the Golkar Party leaders meeting.
Conspicuously absent were senior leaders, like former vice president Jusuf Kalla, who could have mounted a challenge but didn’t. That in itself is testimony to power wielded by Golkar Chairman, Aburizal Bakrie, among party ranks.
Aburizal Bakrie said: “In the name of Allah – most gracious, most compassionate – I publicly declare that I am ready to carry the mandate. I am prepared to be the presidential candidate for the coming election.”
The 65-year-old tycoon told party cadres that an early start to the 2014 race would help Golkar reach out to all Indonesians.
“This declaration is meant to be early, well ahead of 2014 election. Indonesia is a big country with sprawling provinces and huge population. We need time and a long preparation. It will be a two-year marathon to reach out to everyone in the country with our touches, ideas and mature programs,” he said.
Golkar – a party formed by former President Suharto to legitimize his authoritarian rule – has not won any of the presidential races in post-reform Indonesia.
It is now offering Indonesia an updated development concept that was once successfully implemented during the Suharto rule.
Aburizal Bakrie said: “The concept is called Trilogy of Development – complemented by a new idea of Indonesian nationalism. It is a formula I called Four Point National Development Success. This formula consists of four elements – economic development, equitable developmental outcomes, social and political stability and nationalistic understanding in a globalized context.”
Surveys have shown Aburizal Bakrie to be a frontrunner in the next presidential elections.
His biggest challenge is to overcome public skepticism towards his extensive business interests and the mudflow disaster in East Java allegedly caused by Lapindo – a company once owned by his family.
Golkar Party cadres still have two years to convince Indonesians that Aburizal Bakrie is the man to be Indonesia’s next leader.
After securing his candidacy, Aburizal Bakrie, is now searching for a running mate to be the vice president candidate.
Party insiders said his likely choice would be a Javanese to appeal to the majority of the voters who are ethnic Javanese.
Aburizal is a Sumateran and Indonesia never had a non-Javanese president except for a brief period under Mr BJ Habibie who succeeded Mr Suharto following his downfall.