I’ve previously suggested that the Democratic Party’s primary might give former Mahkamah Konstitusi chief justice Mahfud MD an opportunity to ferry his considerable public support onto a major party ticket. Now, according to The Jakarta Post, senior Democratic Party officials have expressed interest in having Mahfud compete in the primary.
Democratic Party Deputy Chairman Max Sopacua said, “We are open to anyone, Anies Baswedan, Mahfud MD, everybody, they can apply. We have a selection process but we already know that those two individuals are credible.”
Mahfud himself has not made any declarations yet. He has expressed skepticism of some of the country’s Islamic parties, suggesting that their leadership is corrupt. The Democratic Party seems like the best fit. However, as is clear in the rest of the article, the Democratic Party doesn’t seem to have come to a consensus on its preferred candidate. In fact, many PD members want to recruit Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, currently a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).
Less clear is whether PD can still aggressively recruit outsiders given that candidates have to compete in the primary system. Would Mahfud join PD in the chance that he might win the nomination? Would Jokowi jump ship for the stronger organizational resources of PD versus the more guaranteed nomination in PDI-P? I’m sure there the party is negotiating with potential candidates behind-the-scenes, but just over a year away it seems as difficult as ever to predict who will win Indonesia’s 2014 presidential election.