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PDI-P politician meets Gerindra Leader Prabowo Subianto: towards uniting Nationalist Groups

Indonesian politicians from PDI-P meet Gerindra’s Prabowo, raising eyebrows. PDIP summons Budiman Sudjatmiko for clarification amid discussions about party discipline. Unexpected alliances emerge ahead of the 2024 elections.



INDONESIA – In a surprising move, two prominent politicians from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) have recently established connections with Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya (Gerindra) Chairman, Prabowo Subianto. The meetings have raised eyebrows in the political landscape, with both sides stressing the importance of fostering cooperation among nationalist groups in Indonesia.

The first encounter occurred when PDI-P politician Effendi Simbolon invited Prabowo to an event organized by the Punguan Simbolon dohot Boruna Indonesia (PSBI) on 7 July, 2023.

More recently, Budiman Sudjatmiko, an activist and PDI-P cadre, met with the Minister of Defense, Prabowo Subianto, on 18 July. During this meeting, Budiman conveyed his mission to unite nationalist factions for the betterment of the nation.

Budiman admitted that in the meeting, he carried a mission to unite nationalist groups. Moreover, Budiman Sudjatmiko acknowledged his compatibility with Prabowo Subianto. He views Prabowo as a leader who can steer Indonesia away from the global crisis. “I appreciate and feel that Mr. Prabowo represents a political leadership perspective that aligns with mine,” Budiman said at Prabowo’s residence on Kertanegara Street, South Jakarta, on Tuesday night.

“In the sense that a nation wants to rise amidst turbulence due to the global crisis,” he added. Budiman believes that it is not Ganjar but Prabowo who can unite nationalist groups at present. Budiman revealed that the current situation in Indonesia requires cooperation between figures with military and intelligence backgrounds and figures who were once activists.

Budiman emphasized that Indonesia’s current situation requires cooperation between figures from military and intelligence backgrounds, as well as former activists. The meeting was held in a personal capacity, not as a representative of the PDI-P. He clarified that his meeting with Prabowo was not indicative of his intention to leave the PDI-P for Gerindra.

The historic context between the two figures cannot be overlooked, as Budiman was once an activist while Prabowo was a military officer. Despite their past differences, Budiman asserted that they have matured as individuals and now prioritize the nation’s future over personal conflicts.

Budiman also likened Prabowo to the General Chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Megawati Soekarnoputri, President Joko Widodo, and the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

According to him, all these figures have interesting ideas worth exploring. “These are nationalist figures whose thoughts, in my opinion, are fascinating for us to discuss and delve into,” he said.

Djarot Saiful Hidayat, the Chairman of the Central Executive Board of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)

Djarot Saiful Hidayat, the Chairman of the Central Executive Board of PDI-P, encouraged positive thinking and saw the importance of political figures engaging in discussions to build a better Indonesia, guided by the principles of Pancasila.

“We should maintain a positive thinking approach, foster friendship, and engage in discussions on how to build Indonesia’s future and address its various challenges while staying guided by the ideology of Pancasila and continuing what President Jokowi has initiated – that is absolutely acceptable,” said Djarot when contacted by on last Wednesday (19 Jul).

However, Djarot also reminded Budiman to report the outcomes of his meeting to PDI-P’s top leaders, Puan Maharani, and Hasto Kristiyanto, given Budiman’s active status as a PDI-P cadre. Puan, while acknowledging the importance of such interactions, expressed her interest in understanding the meeting’s contents.

Previously, Puan stated that she was unaware of Budiman’s visit to Prabowo’s residence. However, she mentioned that she would wait for an explanation from Budiman regarding the content of the meeting.

“All I can say is that it’s fine to engage in friendly visits and then discuss the future of the nation and the country. There is nothing wrong with fostering friendships,” said Puan when approached during a campaign training session for Ganjar Pranowo on 18 Jul.

Djarot also stated that Budiman must comply with the decision of PDI-P, which has declared Ganjar Pranowo as the potential presidential candidate. “Budiman surely understands that all party members must stand united in a solid front to win Mas Ganjar as the President in 2024,” he added.

Meanwhile, Budiman admitted that he would convey the outcomes of the meeting with Prabowo to Puan and Hasto. He expressed no concern about being summoned by the Central Executive Board (DPP) of PDI-P regarding the meeting.

Hasto Kristiyanto, the Secretary-General of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)


Regarding this summoning, PDIP Secretary-General Hasto Kristiyanto said, “I have communicated with him through the phone. But we will meet in the near future,” he told reporters at PDIP’s Central Executive Office in Central Jakarta on Saturday (22 Jul).

Hasto further emphasized that the meeting between Budiman Sudjatmiko and Prabowo Subianto was not a political maneuver. PDIP viewed the meeting as a friendly visit. “It’s not a political maneuver, it’s a friendly visit, and I have also been in constant communication with Comrade Budiman Sudjatmiko because we have a close relationship,” said Hasto to reporters at PDIP’s Central Executive Office in Central Jakarta on Saturday (22 Jul).

Meanwhile, Budiman clarified that he has not yet been officially informed about the schedule for the clarification summoning by the PDIP’s Honorary Board. However, he is confident that his relationship with PDIP’s Central Executive Board (DPP) will remain unaffected after his visit to Prabowo’s residence. “Officially, not yet. I’m sure it will be fine because I used to have discussions with Mr. Komarudin Watubun (Chairman of PDIP’s Honorary Board) when I was still in the DPR (House of Representatives),” he said.

Ahmad Muzani, the Secretary-General of the Gerindra Party

In response to the news, Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya (Gerindra) Secretary-General, Ahmad Muzani, stated that the decision of PDIP to summon Budiman for clarification would be respected as an internal matter for the party.

The Honorary Board of PDIP, however, took a firmer stance. They announced that Budiman would be summoned to clarify the meeting with Prabowo, as it was perceived as a potential breach of party discipline.

“I think, for someone like Mr. Budiman to make a statement that he is not representing the party but himself, that is the same as someone who doesn’t understand the organization. My previous statement about friends who committed violations still holds. When we join an organization, we become part of that organization. As such, our freedom is restricted by the organization’s rules,” said the Chairman of PDIP’s Honorary Board, Komarudin Watubun, when contacted on last Wednesday (19 Jul).

Amidst the discussions surrounding this meeting, Ganjar Pranowo, the potential presidential candidate supported by PDIP, reassured that the party’s solidarity remained unshaken and unaffected by Budiman’s encounter with Prabowo. Ganjar emphasized that politicians, like Budiman, have the right to engage with other parties on a personal level.

As the situation continues to develop, the political landscape in Indonesia seems to be witnessing unexpected alliances and interactions. Observers are keen to see how this development may impact the political dynamics in the country and how it aligns with the parties’ respective stances as Indonesia approaches the 2024 presidential election.

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