By Erric Permana and Chandni Vasandani
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) - Indonesia's ruling party on Friday declared incumbent President Joko Widodo as candidate for the 2019 elections.
The announcement by Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) comes less than six months before the national poll opens registration for next year's elections.
Pramono Anung, PDI-P member and cabinet secretary, confirmed the news on Twitter following a closed-door meeting of party executives in Denpasar, Bali.
“We have decided to support @jokowi presidential candidacy for the 2019-2024 term,” Anung tweeted along with a photo of Widodo with party chairman Megawati Soekarnoputri.
Previously, four other parties -- Golkar, Nasdem, National Awakening Party and United Development Party -- also backed Widodo’s re-election bid.
Polls by Indonesian think tanks indicate high chances that Widodo will be reelected.
Recent surveys conducted by Indonesian think-tanks indicate a high electability for Widodo, compared to other hopefuls. Reports by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) and Saiful Mujani Research show a high possibility of Widodo sitting for a second term in office, with figures for opposition leader Prabowo Subianto of Gerindra party tailing close.
PDI-P's decision came amid speculation over who will be appointed running mate for Widodo.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla may be potentially barred from running again as he turns 76 in May.