Golkar Party stalwart Akbar Tandjung said former Vice President Jusuf Kalla was considering approaching former President Megawati Sukarnoputri for a presidential ticket in the 2014 elections.
“If PDI-P [Indonesian Democratic Party Struggle] gives a positive signal, I suppose Pak JK will pair with Ibu Megawati because he seems to be preparing himself as a vice presidential candidate,” Akbar said, referring to Kalla by his initials, as quoted by news portal Detik.com on Monday.
Akbar said he has been monitoring Kalla's political movements and the people close to him. He cited PDI-P's rising popularity in recent regional elections as the main factor for Kalla to approach the party.
“I suppose it has something to do with Jakarta's gubernatorial election and the upcoming West Java election where PDI-P's cadres have gained the support of the masses,” he said.
“Ibu Mega's popularity and electability are high, while Pak JK's electability is quite good as well.”
One poll released in October by the Political Weather Station showed that Kalla was the most popular presidential candidate, according to 22.14 percent of respondents. Meanwhile, about 20 percent of voters preferred Megawati.
Talk of a Megawati-Kalla ticket is not new, with unidentified political sources having been cited before as saying the two have been engaged in serious discussions about the plan.
Over the weekend, Kalla did not deny the possibility he could run as Megawati's vice-presidential candidate.
“As long as I won't be bearing the Golkar name, I don't object," Kalla said on Saturday, as quoted by Kompas.com.
He added that he did not need Golkar's permission to pair with Megawati.
“It's possible [to be Megawati's vice presidential candidate]. In politics, anything can happen,” he said.
Saleh Daulay, a political analyst from Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, said the Megawati-Kalla pair would make an interesting combination in the country's political landscape.
“Other candidates cannot take this duo lightly,” Saleh said on Monday, as quoted by Inilah.com.
He said Prabowo Subianto from the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and Aburizal Bakrie from Golkar need to be cautious.
Kalla and Aburizal are both from Golkar and have a long history of political rivalry.
“Pak JK has declared that he's ready in case he's expelled [from Golkar]. However, Pak JK is a senior politician and was a Golkar chairman. So we'll see," Akbar said.