Jakarta governor Joko Widodo affirms allegiance to Megawati Sukarnoputri's party

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 June, 2013, 1:51am

Jakarta mayor governor Joko Widodo, who leads popularity polls for Indonesia's presidential poll next year, affirmed his allegiance to the party of former leader Megawati Sukarnoputri and said she would decide if he runs.

Widodo, known locally as Jokowi, topped Prabowo Subianto of the Greater Indonesia Movement party as the first choice for president in a survey conducted last month by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Megawati's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, known as PDI-P, is the country's biggest opposition party.

"PDI-P is my party," Widodo, 51, said in an interview in Jakarta on Thursday, adding that Megawati as chairwoman is authorised to pick the 2014 presidential candidate. "So you ask direct to Bu Mega, not to me," he said, referring to the former leader by her nickname.

Widodo's surge in popularity after winning the Jakarta governor race in September has fuelled speculation he may run for the presidency in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

Since candidates need support from parties that win at least 20 per cent of seats in the House of Representatives in April parliamentary elections, either Megawati or Widodo would likely run with the backing of the PDI-P.