BTV, Semarang – The National Mandate Party, or PAN, gave persistent pressure on Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo to consider appointing Erick Thohir as a running mate for the 2024 presidential election if he wants support from the party.
During the PAN national gathering in the Central Java capital of Semarang on Sunday, Chairman Zulkifli Hasan said: "When Mr. Ganjar and Mr. Erick team up, Indonesia will achieve greatness even more. God willing."
Ganjar and Erick were among the guests sitting on the front row together with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.Zulkifli continued to sing praises for the two men, saying Erick's recent election as the chairman of the Indonesian Football Association will bring the country major successes in the sport and describing white-haired Ganjar as the true leader who "works hard day and night for his people".
It's not the first time Zulkifli revealed the party's support for possible Ganjar and Erick nomination for the election either in public events or in PAN internal gatherings.
The president appeared supportive of Zulkifli's remarks, saying the choice of Semarang as the meeting venue wasn't made without reasons.
"Last night I kept wondering why the PAN national gathering was held in Central Java, and now I know the answer. It's a strategy to approach Mr. Ganjar and that's true," the president said in his opening remarks.
Jokowi and Ganjar are both executives of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which has yet to name a presidential candidate despite the governor consistently leading in various polls.
The president himself has indicated his blessing for Ganjar to make sure that many of the current government's projects, particularly the multi-billion dollar national capital Nusantara, will be taken over by a man of his choice when he reaches the end of his second and final term in October next year.
But PDI-P's centralistic policy-making process means that Chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri is the only one with the final say and she has stated she didn't like to be rushed to announce her pick.
The PAN has established a coalition with the Golkar Party and the United Development Party (PPP) to reach the parliament threshold to formally appoint a candidate.