BTV, Jakarta – Democratic Party Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono gathered regional chapter leaders on Monday, urging them to embark on a new journey only days after he failed to secure the vice-presidential nomination alongside presidential candidate Anies Baswedan, despite a months-long partnership.
In an unexpected move last week, Anies abruptly selected Muhaimin Iskandar as his running mate for the upcoming election, based on the advice of media mogul Surya Paloh, a key figure behind the three-party coalition that nominated the former Jakarta governor.
This decision came as a shock to the Democratic Party, which had been aggressively campaigning for the Anies-Agus pairing with high-profile campaign materials, including street banners and posters featuring the two men, since the party joined the coalition in February.
The party later claimed that Agus had received a written assurance from Anies to guarantee his position as the vice-presidential candidate, signed just a few days prior.
Former two-term President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono accused Anies of being dishonest and of betraying the existing consensus with his son, describing the candidate using an Indonesian saying equivalent to 'a wolf in sheep's clothing.'
The party officially withdrew from the coalition, and Agus now faces important decisions during this critical period, particularly regarding the next candidate the party will support for the February 2024 election. Election law mandates that every incumbent party must nominate candidates for president and vice president, or it will be barred from participating in the subsequent election.
"Let's turn the page and move forward immediately. The Democratic Party is prepared to embrace new opportunities ahead of us," Agus told the gathering at the party's headquarters in Menteng, Central Jakarta.
"I extend my congratulations to Mr. Anies Rasyid Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar, who were recently announced as the pair for the 2024 presidential election. I wish them the best of luck," he added.
The Democratic Party currently has two political alliances to consider – one that supports outgoing Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo and one that backs Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto's presidential bid.
Agus said that the Democratic Party will align with a coalition that shares its "views, visions, and political ethics."
"Amid the noise leading up to the 2024 elections, we are witnessing how ethics, personal integrity, and political commitments have become trivial and irrelevant. This only motivates me further to pursue change," Agus said.