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Indonesian minister urges presidential candidates to foster good relations with President Jokowi ahead of 2024 election

Indonesian minister Bahlil Lahadalia emphasized the necessity of good relations with President Jokowi in the 2024 Presidential Election. He urged potential candidates to align with Jokowi’s leadership, drawing attention to Prabowo Subianto’s popularity surge after partnering with the president.



INDONESIA: In a recent event, ‘National Leadership and Electoral Dynamics Ahead of 2024 from the Perspective of the Young Generation’ was broadcasted. This took place on the YouTube account of Indikator Politik Indonesia (Indonesia Political Indicator) on Sunday, July 23.

During this event, the Minister of Investment/Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Bahlil Lahadalia, delivered a message. His address was aimed at potential presidential candidates who intend to run in the 2024 Presidential Election.

Lahadalia emphasized the importance of maintaining good relations with President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). He pointed out that Jokowi still holds significant influence due to high public satisfaction.

During the event, Bahlil stated, “For the candidates to win tomorrow, they must treat President Jokowi with respect. A recent report by Kompas stated that President Jokowi’s influence in determining the winner of the presidential election is very strong.”

Bahlil also encouraged potential candidates to take advantage of the opportunity to build good relationships with Jokowi.

While he acknowledged that some candidates might have different views from Jokowi, he warned them about the potential risks associated with such differences.

“If there are candidates who do not want to collaborate with Jokowi or have differing opinions, they know the risks. I believe that President Jokowi is loved by the people,” he added, citing an example of Prabowo Subianto, the Chairman of the Gerindra Party.

Joko Widodo, the President of the Republic of Indonesia

Prabowo’s popularity significantly increased after joining forces with President Jokowi, despite previous electoral defeats in 2014 and 2019. Bahlil attributed this surge in Prabowo’s electability to his partnership with Jokowi and their joint programs and initiatives.

Previously, the Executive Director of Survey and Polling Indonesia (SPIN), Igor Dirgantara, stated that Prabowo Subianto is a figure with the competence to bring continuity to President Joko Widodo’s leadership.

Igor emphasized that Prabowo firmly advocates the necessity of continuing and carrying on President Jokowi’s leadership. This step is essential to drive further progress for the nation’s future.

The continuity of leadership that Prabowo will provide becomes a crucial point in increasing his electability among supporters, especially Jokowi’s sympathizers. It brings a sense of satisfaction to the people who support Prabowo.

According to Igor, Prabowo indirectly receives an endorsement from Jokowi to continue the leadership legacy. The 7th President of Indonesia has been observed offering support to Prabowo on various occasions. Igor stated, “President Jokowi’s endorsement is also evident in favor of Prabowo on numerous occasions.”

Bahlil asserted that Jokowi’s frequent invitations to Prabowo for official visits (kunjungan kerja) do not constitute an endorsement. This is because, in principle, Prabowo is a minister in President Jokowi’s current government cabinet. Therefore, such actions are considered reasonable.

Bahlil also reminded government coalition parties such as the Indonesian Democratic Praty of Struggle (PDI-P), Golkar, and Gerindra to capitalize on this momentum. “Parties like Gerindra, PDI-P, and Golkar are part of the government; they should make use of this opportunity,” he said.

“But I see that Mr. Ganjar’s survey results are already showing positive signs, probably because he is also from PDI-P. However, other candidates are still stagnant, like my friend Mr. Anies,” added Bahlil.

In the release of the Indikator Politik survey on Sunday (23 Jul), Bahlil revealed the criteria for presidential candidates (capres) needed by the people in the 2024 General Elections.

According to Bahlil, presidential candidates in the 2024 Presidential Election must possess strong abilities in formulating economic issues, and not just be skilled in public speaking.

This response is based on the findings of the Indikator Politik survey, which generally indicates that Generation Z tends to choose candidates who can create job opportunities.

Bahlil also revealed that the criteria for presidential candidates in the 2024 elections should include the ability to formulate and design comprehensive and measurable economic policies.

“I believe that in the future, the primary concern for any presidential candidate will be economic issues, not just rhetoric, but economic problem-solving,” said Bahlil.

This includes, according to Bahlil, the ability to create job opportunities, control the rise of basic commodity prices, and increase national revenue. He believes that candidates meeting these criteria will be preferred by the public.

Bahlil added that the criteria for the presidential candidates chosen by the people in the 2024 General Elections are those who can offer good economic programs. “Indeed, if we look at the candidates who will be heard and will influence people, the tendency is for people to choose a candidate who offers economic solutions,” he said.

Kamhar Lakumani, the Executive Deputy of the Partai Demokrat’s Election Supervisory Body (Bappilu)

Responding to Bahlil’s statements, Kamhar Lakumani, the Executive Deputy of the Democratic Party’s (Partai Demokrat’s) Election Supervisory Body (Bappilu), asserted that the primary concern should be the welfare and preferences of the people, rather than the relations with the current president. Kamhar stressed the importance of prioritizing the people’s welfare and achieving social justice across Indonesia.

“As an assistant to the President, it can be understood why Bahlil made such a statement. However, the Coalition for Change certainly has its own perspective,” said Kamhar to reporters on Monday (24 Jul).

“For us, the people are the ones who must be served and prioritized. Achieving social justice for all Indonesians is imperative,” he continued.

Kamhar observed that there are numerous obstacles and setbacks in various sectors. However, he also acknowledged some achievements of the government.

He stated that the Coalition for Change’s agenda for reform and improvement encompasses four aspects. First, current government policies deemed effective and relevant will be continued and enhanced. Second, policies considered less suitable will be rectified. Third, as Kamhar explained, inappropriate policies will be terminated.

“Fourth, together formulate new measures deemed appropriate and necessary for the future,” he concluded.

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