PDI-P offered Ganjar’s VP spot to Ridwan, confirms Golkar exec

The statement lays to rest the speculation over Ridwan's potential pairing with Ganjar that grew rife after he met last week with PDI-P matriarch Megawati Soekarnoputri at her private residence in Central Jakarta.

Yerica Lai

Yerica Lai

The Jakarta Post


Surakarta Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka (left), Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo (second left) and West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil attend the Y20 Post-Summit event on Oct. 28, 2022 at Pura Mangkunegaran Palace in Surakarta, Central Java. PHOTO: WEST JAVA PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION/ THE JAKARTA POST

September 15, 2023

JAKARTA – Former West Java governor Ridwan Kamil had received an offer to run for the vice presidency in 2024 alongside presumptive nominee Ganjar Pranowo of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Golkar Party deputy chairman Ahmad Doli Kurnia confirmed on Thursday.

Doli’s statement lays to rest the speculation over Ridwan’s potential pairing with Ganjar that grew rife after he met last week with PDI-P matriarch Megawati Soekarnoputri at her private residence in Teuku Umar, Central Jakarta.

The pair discussed subjects that were “personal and political in nature” including Ridwan’s future plans.

“At that time Pak [Mr.] RK was invited by Ibu [Mrs.] Megawati, who offered him to be [Ganjar’s] vice president,” Doli said, referring to Ridwan by his initials.

“The reason behind the proposal is that Pak Ganjar needs a figure who can help boost his [ratings] in West Java.”

Ridwan is currently a member of Golkar, which is grouped in the Gerindra Party-led Onward Indonesia Coalition (KIM) backing Prabowo Subianto’s presidential bid, along with the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Crescent Star Party (PBB) and the Gelora Party.

Doli said Ridwan had informed Golkar chairman Airlangga Hartarto about the offer.

He expressed regret that the PDI-P made the offer directly to Ridwan proposal without any “formal talks” among the leaders of the two parties, however, which had prompted Golkar to treat Megawati’s offer to Ridwan as “a developing discourse”.

According to Doli, Airlangga had responded to the offer by telling Ridwan, “It’s fine if the meeting was mere silaturahmi [building friendly ties]. But if it is a matter of a party’s decision, it should be a formal discussion.”

Ever since news about the potential pairing broke, Golkar executives have insisted that the party was still eyeing Airlangga to become Prabowo’s running mate.

The country’s second-largest party also had its own plans for Ridwan to contest the regional elections next November, either for reelection in West Java or running for Jakarta governor, Doli said.

“Any changes to this plan will be decided by Pak Airlangga, who has the mandate in deciding the party’s direction,” he added.

Widely known for his lighthearted online persona, Ridwan gained popularity during his five-year term as West Java governor, which ended last week.

More recently, he has risen to rank among the top vice presidential candidates in opinion surveys. The internationally renowned architect first entered politics in 2013, when he ran as an independent for mayor of Bandung, his hometown. He joined Golkar in January and was appointed cochair of the party’s campaign team.

In an interview with The Jakarta Post last month, Ridwan asserted that his priorities for Golkar’s election campaign were to push for Airlangga’s nomination for vice president and assisting in the legislative campaign.

As for his own electoral bid next year, he said that he remained open to possibilities other than reelection in West Java.

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