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Indonesia's ruling Democratic Party yet to select presidential candidate

JAKARTA, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia's ruling Democratic Party is still in a process of selecting a candidate for the country's presidential election slated for July 9, a senior party official said here on Wednesday.

The party, led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, only pocketed about 9 percent of votes during the April 9 legislative polls, sliding to the fourth place from the first in the 2009 polls, the results of several quick counts showed.

As the law stipulates that political parties must secure at least 25 percent of votes, or 20 percent seats at the parliament, it has to set up a coalition to join in the leadership contest.

Secretary of Democratic Party High Assembly Jero Wacik disclosed that the party held a meeting presided over by party chairman Yudhoyono, who is also chairman of the high assembly, at his residence on Tuesday night, discussing the convention for the presidential candidate.

"We decided the convention to persist, which means there will be final debates among the 11 participants," Wacik said.

A committee would finally select one from the 11 nominees as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, he added.

Among the participants are State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan, a reformist leader, former Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan and former presidential spokesman and Ambassador to the United States Dino Pati Djalal.

Yudhoyono is constitutionally barred from run again after two terms in office.

The initial counts showed the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) led rivals with about 19 percent in the parliamentary polls, followed by Golkar Party with about 15 percent and the Indonesian Great Movement Party (Gerindra) with some 12 percent.

Indonesia's Election Commission is to officially declare the result of legislative election on May 7.

As many as 12 parties vied in the legislative polls.

To win the presidential polls, a candidate must secure 50 percent of the total vote and 20 percent of the vote in over half of the 34 provinces in the country.

Should no one get that many votes, there will be a run-off between the two presidential candidates who have secured the most votes.

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