Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – A National Mandate Party (PAN) executive said Sunday the party is still making efforts to nominate State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir as a running mate for either Ganjar Pranowo or Prabowo Subianto.
The push to get Erick the nomination received another incentive after a new survey puts him above other potential candidates for the ticket mate.
The poll by Indikator Politik Indonesia shows that Erick get 14.8 percent of support from respondents, who were asked to make their choice for the vice president from 22 names.
"The survey proves further that we are nominating just the right person. Brother Erick Thohir got the most votes although there was only a razor-thin margin between him and [West Java Governor] Brother Ridwan Kamil," PAN Deputy Chairman Yandri Susanto said in Jakarta.
The poll also included other famous figures such as Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno and Chief Security Minister Mohammad Mahfud MD.
The party believes that Erick could become an effective vote-getter in his role as the chairman of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), Yandri said.
"Football is like a second religion in this republic. Children, youths, old people, men, and women love football whether they live in villages or cities," Yandri said.
In less than a year after taking the helm at the PSSI, Erick ended the 32-year title drought after the national team won the SEA Games football in Cambodia, he added.
Yandri also credited Erick for a deal with world champion Argentina on a friendly with Indonesia on June 19, when football superstar Lionel Messi is scheduled to participate.
"Our nominee is not just another candidate, but he's an extraordinary person for this nation. He should be considered [as a running mate] by Ganjar or Prabowo," Yandri said.
His remarks came two days after PAN Chairman Zulkifli Hasan met with the leaders of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) which nominates Ganjar for the 2024 presidential election.