Indonesian security minister Mahfud MD named as running mate of ruling party presidential candidate Ganjar Pranowo

"[Mahfud's] understanding in legal matters is filled with experience and knowledge," former Indonesian president Megawati said.

Keyla Supharta | October 18, 2023, 06:56 PM

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Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD has been named as the running mate of presidential hopeful Ganjar Pranowo for next year's presidential election, The Jakarta Post reported.

Former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) where Ganjar is a member, made the announcement at the party's office on Wednesday (Oct. 18).

As quoted by BBC Indonesia, Megawati referred to Mahfud as a "qualified intellectual figure" who is also a "legal expert" and a "defender of the poor".

20 years of experience in government

Mahfud, 66, has more than 20 years of experience in government and had once served as a Constitutional Court chief justice.

This is also not the first time Mahfud made the list of potential vice presidential candidates.

The senior minister was Indonesian President Joko Widodo's top choice for running mate in the country's 2019 election.

However, Jokowi announced at the eleventh hour that he would run with the then-supreme cleric of the country's largest Muslim organisation Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Ma'ruf Amin instead.

"If law enforcement is done properly, then half the problems in this nation are solved," Mahfud said after the nomination, as quoted by Bloomberg.

"Prioritising the eradication of corruption, legal certainty, and consistency in the implementation of law enforcement provide guarantees for investment and economic development and provide protection to the people," Mahfud said.

Three contenders for the presidential election

Ganjar and Mahfud are the second confirmed candidate pairing running for the 2024 presidential election, after former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan named Muhaimin Iskandar, the chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB) who has strong ties to NU, as his running mate.

Among the three main contenders for the presidential race, only current Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto has yet to announce his vice-presidential nominee.

However, there has been speculation that Jokowi's oldest son, Gobran Rakabuming Raka, is among Prabowo's strongest potential vice president candidates.

Presidential candidates and their running mates are expected to register with the election commission between Oct. 19 to Oct. 25.

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Top image via Ganjar Pranowo/Facebook.