Jakarta – Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto said he could respect NasDem Party leader Surya Paloh's decision to nominate former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan as presidential candidate for the 2024 election.
Prabowo made the statement following a weekend meeting with the NasDem leader at the former general's private residence in Hambalang, West Java.
"On the issue of coalition, on presidential or vice-presidential candidates we have agreed to respect each other's decision," Prabowo told a press briefing following the two-hour meeting on Sunday.
When asked whether he would join the NasDem Party's ticket for the 2024 presidential election, Prabowo only said that he would continue maintaining a line of communication with Surya.
"We have agreed to respect each other's political position and we're committed to conducting closer and more intensive communication," Prabowo said as quoted by Antara news agency.
NasDem, the country's fifth-largest political party, announced in October that it was backing Anies as its candidate for the 2024 presidential election.
Anies has consistently ranked among the top-three possible contenders to lead the world's third-largest democracy, according to opinion polls, alongside Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo and Defense Minister Prabowo.
NasDem does not pass the required threshold to put forward a candidate on its own, meaning it will have to form a coalition with other parties to formally nominate a candidate for 2024.
Last week, Anies pledged that he would continue President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's flagship US$32 billion new capital city if he wins the 2024 election, giving a boost to an ambitious project hit by delays and investor uncertainty.