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Indonesia's second largest party seeks coalition with small parties
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20:50, April 23, 2009

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Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who is assigned on Thursday to become the presidential candidate of the Golkar Party, would seek a coalition with small political parties to support his candidacy ahead of the presidential election on July 8, a Golkar Party official said.

"The party gives a full authority to Jusuf Kalla to set up a negotiating team to lobby political parties who want to support his candidacy. All political parties that contended in the legislative elections could be asked to coalesce, including those who won 2.5 percent votes," Muladi, a senior Golkar Party official told Xinhua on the sidelines of Golkar Party's executive meeting here.

He said that the possibility of coalition with large political parties has been running thin since most of them already have their own presidential candidates.

Jusuf Kalla, who is also chairman of the Golkar Party, becomes the first presidential candidate announced by a political party to contend the incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the Democrat Party in the July 8 presidential election. The Democratic Party obtained 20.48 percent votes in the legislative election according to quick count results.

With more than 14 percent votes in the legislative elections, the Golkar Party has to gather at least 6 more percent to make his candidacy in line with the General Election Commission (KPU) requirement.

According to the electoral law, a presidential candidate must be registered by political parties or a coalition of political parties that occupy at least 20 percent votes in the House of Representatives (DPR).

Citing to the results of Golkar Party executives meeting, Muladi said that Jusuf Kalla has to act swiftly since the candidate registration would end on May 17.

Another Golkar Party senior official Priyo Budi Santosa disclosed that talks about possibilities to coalesce with Great Indonesia People's Movement (Gerindra) party and People's Consciousness Party (Hanura) surfaced during the meeting.

He regarded the option as a Golkar Party's possibility to set up a new political axis, besides the already-tarnished Golkar-Democrat Party and Golkar-Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

According to quick count results, Gerindra and Hanura parties won more than 4 and 3 percent in the legislative elections, respectively.

Source: Xinhua

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