President Joko Widodo attended the 20th Aniversary of Kebangkitan Bangsa Party on Sunday (22/07) - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo will announce his vice president (VP) candidate for 2019’s general election two weeks ahead, said the leaders on Sunday (22/07). Based on General Election Commissions announcement, the president and VP candidates should submit the name at the latest August 10.

Our sources close to the matters said, former chairman of Constitutional Court Mahfud MD become the strongest candidates to accompanying Widodo in presidential and VP elections in 2019. Again according to the sources, chairwoman PDI-P Party Megawati Soekarnoputri has give her blessed to Mahfud race with Widodo in 2019’s general election.

Ahead of the registration to the General Election Commissions, the VP candidates name continues to emerge and more difficult to predict. So far Widodo only give a signal and approached all parties without giving any clues who would his’s VP candidate.

Mahfud MD

In weeks, some local media reported, Mahfud together with Kebangkitan Bangsa Party’s chairman Muhaimin Iskandar, Golkar Party’s chairman Airlangga Hartarto, President’s Staff chief Moeldoko, and other names became the leading contenders as Widodo’s companion in 2019 election.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday (24/07), chairman of Gerindra Party and chairman of Demokrat Party Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) will meet after cancelled the previous meeting last week. The former Indonesian president has offered his son name Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) to become president or VP candidates to Widodo’s coalition party and other parties.

Secretary General of the Demokrat party Hinca Pandjaitan has said, that SBY and Subianto’s meeting aims to sharpen the Democrats’ considerations to select the three options that his party has set. The three options are joining the coalition of Widodo, carrying the Subianto’s party, or carrying a candidate pair in addition to both.

Otherwise, VP Jusuf Kalla (JK) volunteered as a related party in the judicial review of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Election proposed by Perindo Party to Constitutional Court, given a strong signal he want to race again in 2019. In the article 169 stated that the presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate is not a person who had been president or vice president for two periods.

Previously, Demokrat has proposed JK to duet with AHY in 2019’s presidential election. However, Kalla refused it on the grounds of wanting to break from politics.

With the joining of Kebangkitan Bangsa Party to Widodo’s coalition, practically the option of carrying candidate pair outside of him and Subianto will be difficult. Unless, there is one party that has joined the coalition of Widodo out and deigns a coalition with the Democrats.

Based on the results of simultaneous regional elections, particularly in West Java, Central Java and East Java, gave a massive lift to the Widodo’s re-election bid in 2019. On June 27, Indonesia held simultaneous regional elections in 17 provinces, 115 districts, and 39 cities involving 518 candidates with 16 of them were single candidates.

The three provinces become the key battleground for the 2019 presidential elections as all accounted for 47.6 percent of eligible voters in the archipelago. The first is West Java with the list of permanent voters of 31.730.042, followed by East Java of 30.155.719, Central Java of 27.068.500. Whoever the winner in the three provinces determine the support and coalition of the presidential election.

For investors engaging in both portfolio and direct investments are now assessing their strategies on how to surf safely in the political tides and still make handsome gains, as Indonesia enters in another election season, starting from regional campaigns to elect governors and regency heads, parliament members and president election next year.

Investors do agree that political risk customarily looms large whenever the country holds elections. However, there are still plenty of possibilities and opportunities when it comes to investing in a ‘political year’.

For business players, the big challenge is to run the business as usual, to expand or consolidate. Therefore, investors need to have contingency plans to anticipate such situation.

However, during political years, there is nothing more irrational than when a narrative goes wrong, a wide range of opinions erupts, regarding potential market outcomes in a new political environment. The dispersion and polarity of beliefs is perhaps the widest.

Wimboh Santoso, Chairman of Financial Services Authority, believes that the regional elections to elect governors and regency heads across the nation should exert limited impact on the country’s banking industry, including lending activities. He acknowledge, as happened in the past, the regional elections would trigger an increase in consumption related to the campaign and other activities.

Eric Sugandi, an economist from SKHA Institute for Global Competitiveness, predicts there will be only a limited outflow regarding political risk in this year, taking in account external factors such as the U.S’s Federal Reserves (Fed) normalization and tax policy to reduce income tax, which will trigger more volume to flow into the U.S Treasury.

In term of investing in the stock market, analysts said that investors, in particularly conservative ones, are likely opting to choose defensive stocks as these are resilient to any market upheaval. Market players appear to have a common belief that there will always opportunities even in ‘rough seas’, as long as players embrace the proper strategy in seizing opportunities.