National Democrat seeks presidential candidates in next national convention to enter 2024 Elections

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National Democrat (“NasDem”) Party’s General Chairman, Surya Paloh. (Photo: Doc. NasDem)

IO – National Democrat (“NasDem”) Party General Chairman Surya Paloh has announced that his party will be holding a Presidential Convention to select candidates to support in the 2024 Presidential Elections. The Presidential Convention shows NasDem’s openness towards anyone outside the party with the capacity and quality to lead our nation and to shoulder the mandates of the ’45 Constitution. Furthermore, it moderates the various different political ideas and views available through contestation. “Within the next two years, NasDem Party will hold a 2024 Presidential Convention,” he said in his address during the NasDem Party 9th anniversary on Wednesday (11/11/2020). 

Surya stated that the upcoming NasDem Presidential Convention will prioritize the principle of transparency. It will signify positive impacts and strengthen NasDem as an institution. This event will become the forum and basis for recruiting national leadership. “Through the convention, Nas- Dem Party seeks to establish itself as an inclusive party – one that can accept the various political ideas and views from all groups. It is an open ideology, like Pancasila, our national principle,” he said. 

Vice Chairman of NasDem’s Steering Committee Sugeng Suparwoto added that the convention is being held using electoral mechanisms such as public testing, intellectual testing, and integrity testing in order to be able to obtain the best sons and daughters of Indonesia to become its future leader. Anyone can take part in the Convention, whether they are NasDem cadres or people outside of the Party. NasDem is currently monitoring the performance of three regional heads with an eye on the 2024 Presidential Elections: Governor of DKI Jakarta Anies Baswedan, Governor of West Java Ridwan Kamil, and Governor of East Java Khofifah Indar Parawansa, none of whom is affiliated with any political party. “To repeat, our Convention is open to all parts of society,” he said.

 Sugeng denies that the rumors that the Convention is being held because NasDem has no confidence to support its own cadres as either Candidate President or Candidate Vice President. The Convention is held in order to discharge one of the functions of a political party, which is to recruit the nation’s leaders. NasDem has many cadres who are worthy leaders, but it believes that there are also others who are worthy leaders outside the party. “This Convention expresses NasDem’s attitude that it is all about national leadership. Therefore, we open our doors to anyone who is the best in this capacity, not just to NasDem cadres. The Convention is being held to help move the gears of the Party, as Nas- Dem has the target of winning the 2024 Election. Therefore, we need the kind of medium that allows us to work and function systematically,” he said. 

As for the three potential regional heads who were invited to attend NasDem’s Second Congress, Surya Paloh refused to say more. He only stated that NasDem Party will not make its choice in a hurry. With so many options available, the Party will have no trouble finding the ideal figure to lead in the 2024 Presidential Elections. “We have many choices, rainbow options, and it’s stupid to simply choose between black or white. From all of these options, we seek the best of the best. NasDem is planning towards that direction. We look into the future – we have Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Java, Papua. Let’s all be aware of this first,” he said. 

Paloh further stated that leadership in NasDem need not always be held by party members. Therefore, he reminds his cadres to open the possibility for anyone worthy outside of Nasdem to enter the party. “Everything depends on the cadres’ own quality and capacity. If these do not match the people’s expectations, regeneration is necessary. Therefore, we should give anyone outside of the party a chance,” he said. 

Chairman of the NasDem Faction in the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) Ahmad Ali does not clearly confirm that his party is targeting Anies, Ridwan, and Khofifah as its candidates. Other than the fact that the 2024 Presidential Elections is still a long way away, the Party is still filtering people with commitment and integrity. “2024 is still five years away; we’re not thinking about it yet. However, NasDem Party does not close itself. We are open to the best cadres that we consider to have the loyalty, commitment, and integrity to build the nation together with us,” he said. 

Paloh Becomes Chairman Again 

At the end of the NasDem Congress, Paloh announced the new organization of NasDem’s Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”) and confirmed himself as NasDem’s General Chairman for the next five years. “After this announcement, I shall be inaugurating myself and all members of the DPP. Therefore, by saying Bismilahirrohmanirrahim, in the name of Allah the Most Beneficent and Merciful, on today, 11 November 2019, at 10.40 a.m. WIB, on behalf of the Second NasDem Party Congress, we declare our acceptance of its mandate as the Central Management of NasDem Party,” he said at the Grand Ballroom of Jiexpo Kemayoran, Jakarta. 

The membership of NasDem’s DPP has not changed much. For example, NasDem again entrusts Johnny G. Plate to be its General Secretary, while his current position is Minister of Communications and Informatics. Ahmad Sahroni, currently a member of the DPR, is now the General Treasurer. The Treasurer has a strategic position that oversees the Party’s activities and needs. Surya Paloh’s son, Prananda Surya Paloh, is appointed as the Head of the Electoral Campaign Team, replacing Effendi Choiri. He has the task of getting NasDem Party a victory in the 2024 Presidential Elections. (dan)