REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212) will stage the 2nd Ijtima' Ulema in a near future. The brotherhood will decide its stance on presidential election 2019 followed by two pairs of candidates, namely incumbent President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)-KH Ma'ruf Amin and Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno.
Chairman of PA 212 Slamet Maarif said the 2nd Ijtima' Ulama to be held in August, without mentioning specific date. The ulemas meeting was initiated by National Movement to Safeguard Ulemas' Fatwa (GNPF Ulama) and PA 212. The first event was held in Jakarta on July 27 to 29.
The ulema meeting resulted with support to Prabowo Subianto as presidential candidate in next year's election. Ijtima' Ulama also recommended two names as Prabowo's running mate, namely PKS Syura (Advisory) Council chairman Salim Segaf Al-Jufri and prominent preacher ustaz Abdul Somad.
However, ustaz Somad refused to contest in election. He wanted to focus on da'wah. Meanwhile, the coalition parties members did not agree on Salim's nomination.
GNPF Ulama then came up with two alternative figures, namely Abdullah Gymnastiar "Aa Gym" and ustaz Arifin Ilham. The movement wanted Prabowo to be accompanied by an ulema. Nevertheless, on Thursday (Aug 8), Prabowo picked none of the recommended names.
Prabowo decided to pair with his cadre and Jakarta deputy governor Sandiaga Salahudin Uno. Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), National Mandate Party (PAN), and of course Gerindra Party agreed with Prabowo's decision.
Meanwhile, Democratic Party finally decided to not abstain. The party that won two consecutive elections in 2004 and 2009 chose to join the opposition coalition on Friday (Aug 10) morning after holding High Council meeting. Democratic Party sent its Joint Task Force Command Head Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) to witness Prabowo-Sandiaga registration to General Election Commission (KPU).
Earlier, Democratic Party showed its rejection to the opposition camp's pair of candidate for 2019 presidential election. One of Democratic Party politicians, Andi Arief stated harsh comment on Sandiaga's nomination through his Twitter account. He called Prabowo as "General cardboard" to describe general that valued money more than struggle.
Chairman of Democratic Party Board of Supervisors EE Mangindaan explained the decision to join opposition camp was taken based on several reasons. Its internal survey showed 62 percent of its cadres in all provinces support Prabowo and 38 percent others support Jokowi.
"We decide to coalesce to win Prabowo-Sandiaga and to safeguard the people's expectation," Mangindaan said on Friday morning in Jakarta.
Prabowo and Sandiaga have officially submitted their registration to KPU on Friday. The Commission stated they have met the terms and conditions and entitled to undergo medical check up on Monday (Aug 13).