Moh Said, Jakarta – Presidential candidate Ganjar Pranowo now has four potential candidates to choose from as his running mate for the February election after the establishment of three competing coalitions was completed, his campaign team announced on Monday.
The four vice-presidential candidates in consideration are State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir, Chief Security Minister Mohammad Mahfud MD, Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno, and former Indonesian Military Chief Andika Perkasa.
The initial list of potential nominees was slightly longer and included figures such as Democratic Party Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) and former West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil. However, these options have been excluded from consideration due to recent developments.
"Brother AHY was among the candidates, but his nomination has become unlikely after the Democrats decided to join the coalition supporting Prabowo Subianto," said Puan Maharani, the head of Ganjar's campaign team, during a visit to Cilandak, South Jakarta.
She was referring to Sunday's decision by the Democratic Party to join the Prabowo coalition.
Similarly, Ridwan Kamil, an executive of the Golkar Party, has been excluded from consideration as the party is also part of the Prabowo coalition.
"We have four nominees for the running mate, including Erick Thohir, Sandiaga Uno, Andika, and Mahfud," added the House of Representatives speaker.
Erick is currently considered the frontrunner for the vice-presidential position, according to various polls. He is known as one of President Joko Widodo's most trusted aides and also leads the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI).
Sandiaga Uno recently switched his allegiance to the United Development Party (PPP), which supports Ganjar's presidential bid, after previously being aligned with Prabowo's Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) during the 2019 presidential election.
For Mahfud MD, this isn't the first time he has been shortlisted as a running mate. Five years ago, Mahfud was chosen as a vice-presidential candidate for Joko Widodo's reelection attempt but his nomination was canceled at the last minute in favor of Ma'ruf Amin.
Reports suggest that Mahfud has been invited for a fitting session for the clothing he will wear during the public announcement of his pairing with the president.
Andika Perkasa is a close ally of President Joko Widodo, who appointed him as the commander of the Presidential Security Force (Paspampres) immediately after winning the presidency in 2014.
He steadily rose through the ranks, serving as the chief of staff of the Army for three years until November 2021 when he was appointed as the chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces, a position he held for 13 months until reaching retirement age.
Ganjar is nominated for president by a coalition of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), PPP, the United Indonesia Party (Perindo), and the People's Conscience Party (Hanura).
The third presidential candidate is former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan who is supported by a three-party coalition.