Gerindra Mulls Endorsing General Gatot for Vice President
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Great Indonesia Raya Movement (Gerindra) Party is mulling an endorsement for the National Armed Forces (TNI) Commander General Gatot Nurmantyo for vice president in the 2019 election. Gatot is seen as a right candidate to accompany Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto who is likely to run for president. “His character and leadership are already proven,” deputy chairman Arief Poyuono told Tempo in a phone interview.
According to Arief, Gatot’s name has been bandied about as a potential candidate, particularly by Gerindra members. However, a decision on the nomination will only be made by Prabowo.
Many have said Gatot is gearing up to run for the upcoming presidential election. He embarked on his ‘political safari’ two years ago by visiting campuses, giving speeches in political party events and meeting ulemas.
Gatot’s name has resurfaced after he issued a controversial statement in front of retired military personnel on Friday that there were plans to purchase 5,000 firearms by a non-military agency using President Joko Widodo’s name.
Gerindra Central Executive Board (DPP) chairman Gerindra Ahmad Riza Patria said that Gatot has a good relationship with Prabowo. He did not deny the possibility of endorsing both for the presidential election if they had the support of the party cadres and the public.
The National Mandate Party has also signaled its interest in nominating Gatot. In its national meeting in the end of August, PAN decided to nominate its chairman Zulkifli Hasan for president. “But we have not carried out an electability study yet,” PAN executive board chairman Yandri Susanto said.
Gatot has denied making a political maneuver. He also said that he did not have any plan to compete in the 2019 presidential election.
President Joko Widodo yesterday summoned TNI Commander Gatot Nurmantyo to the State Palace. Neither the Palace nor Gatot was willing to reveal the topics of the one-hour discussion. It was the second time that Gatot meet Jokowi in the wake of the controversial statement.
DANANG FIRMANTO | INDRI MAULIDAR | ISTMAN MP