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Indonesian Presidential Hopeful Jokowi Chooses Kalla as VP

FILE - Jakarta governor and presidential candidate Joko Widodo looks on during PDIP party campaign in Jakarta, March 16, 2014.
Indonesian presidential frontrunner Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has picked former vice president Jusuf Kalla as his running mate for July's election, a senior party official said on Monday.

A coalition of four parties led by Jokowi's Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) gathered in central Jakarta to make the announcement.

“After meeting all the party chairpersons... it was agreed on Jusuf Kalla,” PDI-P vice secretary general Tjahjo Kumolo told reporters.

Recent opinion polls show a Jokowi-Kalla ticket is by far the most popular pairing for the July 9 election.

Candidates and their running mates must be registered by May 20. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in first round, there will be a second round in September.

Kalla served as vice president during current leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's first term in office from 2004 to 2009, where he gained the reputation of being a can-do politician. More recently, the 72-year-old businessman from the east of the country has been head of the Indonesian Red Cross.