Indonesian First Lady Ani Yudhoyono may be the Democratic Party’s best candidate for the 2014 presidential election, a party spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
“Ani has a good chance of being nominated because she is popular among the people,” Andi Nurpati, head of the Democratic Party’s communication division said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has previously said that he was not grooming a successor from within his family.
“I won’t be a presidential candidate in 2014, and neither will my wife or my children,” he said.
But some Democratic Party members would like to see Ani’s name on the presidential ballot.
In 2011, party member Ruhut Sitompul threw his support behind Ani, saying that she was the strongest candidate from within the party.
Political analysts say the party is testing the waters with these statements to gauge the public’s response to Ani’s candidacy.
“The idea is to test public’s perception of Ani Yudhoyono running in the 2014 presidential election,” Burhanuddin Muhtadi, a political analyst from the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI), said.
But Andi said that the ticket was still open to anyone within the Democratic Party.
“Everybody may feel free to nominate a president candidate from the Democratic Party,” Andi said. “The names proposed will be discussed by the high assembly.”
She said that Ani had potential because she is an experienced politician and had worked alongside her husband for nearly two terms.