Election News: Jusuf Kalla Officially Declared Vice-Presidential Candidate
In front of the Joang '45 Museum, which illustrates Indonesia's battle for independence, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (Governor of Jakarta) officially declared that Jusuf Kalla is his running mate (or the vice-presidential candidate) in the upcoming presidential election (scheduled for 9 July 2014). It had been speculated for weeks that Jusuf Kalla (former Indonesian Vice-President, businessman and philanthropist), would be Jokowi's running mate but it was only officially declared just after noon (local Jakarta time) on Monday (19/05).
The choice for Jusuf Kalla was well received by the market, even prior to the official declaration. Immediately after the opening of the stock and financial markets on Monday (19/05), the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index jumped more than one percent as news had started to spread since last night that Kalla would be the vice-presidential nominee of the PDI-P, NasDem, PKB and Hanura coalition. However, at noon most of the gain had evaporated as market participants engaged in profit taking. The Indonesian rupiah is still strong at IDR 11,355 per US dollar (at 12:20 local Jakarta time), appreciating 0.50 percent against the US dollar.
Jusuf Kalla is considered a suitable candidate because he has ample experience in politics and business and enjoys popularity among the majority of the Indonesian population, particularly in the eastern part of Indonesia (Kalla being born on the eastern island of Sulawesi). Since 2009 Kalla is the Chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross Society.
Between 2004 and 2009, Jusuf Kalla was Vice-President in Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's first government period as well as Chairman of the Golkar. In the 2009 presidential election, Kalla himself ran for presidency (teaming up with former army general and Hanura frontman Wiranto) but lost to Yudhoyono. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kalla developed a large business empire on Sulawesi; this business empire still exists today.
Jokowi, who can rely on much popular support on Java, and Kalla, who is particularly popular in the eastern part of Indonesia, are favorite to win the presidential election on 9 July 2014 according to recent surveys. In Indonesian presidential elections, the presidential and vice-presidential candidate run as a fixed inseparable pair. This pair needs the support of a political party (or coalition of political parties) that secured at least 25 percent of the vote in the legislative election (held on 9 April 2014).
The official declaration of the Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa pair is expected later today.