TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Vice President Jusuf “JK” Kalla has said he will throw his weight behind President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in the 2019 presidential race. “I promise that I will still help Pak Jokowi,” JK said at the Vice Presidential Office in Jakarta on Friday, August 10, 2018.
JK said he still tried to figure out the right form of support for Jokowi to help the latter win the election. Earlier, JK was offered a slot as the leader of Jokowi’s campaign team, which he turned down.
JK’s spokesman Husain Abdullah said JK opted to focus on carrying out his administrative duties. “It’s not that he rejected it, but Pak JK prefers to become a ‘goalie’.”
Prior to Jokowi’s presidential registration, JK had repeatedly voiced his support to Jokowi’s re-election bid. “I will surely support Pak Jokowi. How come I do not support my own friend?” he said at Bentara Budaya building in Jakarta on Thursday, August 2, 2018.
In an interview with Tempo on July 2, 2018, at his office, JK also said he would back Jokowi. “And I still think Pak Jokowi is still the best among…it is evident compared to the other candidates, at least he is experienced,” he said.
President Jokowi has registered himself as a candidate in next year’s presidential race. He tapped the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate. The parties supporting his re-election bid comprise the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, the Golkar Party, the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), the United Development Party (PPP), and the National Democrat Party (Nasdem).