INDONESIA: The political landscape in Indonesia is experiencing a flurry of statements and strategic maneuvering as the nation gears up for its upcoming presidential election in 2024.
The recent statements from key political figures have shed light on the alliances and coalitions forming, as well as the nuances of power dynamics within these alliances.
The General Secretary of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), Hasto Kristiyanto, responded to the declaration by Prabowo Subianto, the presidential candidate of the Gerindra Party, referring to his coalition supporters as the ‘Jokowi team’.
Hasto contested this characterization, stating that the name of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had been exploited to garner support.
Hasto clarified that PDIP had received clarification from President Jokowi regarding the support declarations of the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Golkar Party for Prabowo. He vehemently denied any interference by the President in the formation of the coalition.
Hasto’s assertion was reinforced by President Jokowi’s own statement, where he clarified that he had not intervened in the process of forming political party alliances.
“About President Jokowi’s name being mentioned, he has clarified that it is not true. President Jokowi has never interfered in the formation of political party cooperation,” Hasto conveyed during a press conference in Ciawi, Bogor Regency, West Java, on Tuesday (15 Aug).
In his speech on Sunday (13 Aug), quoted from KompasTV’s Youtube channel, Prabowo stated, “We are not shy to say that we are part of the government team led by Mr. Engineer Haji Joko Widodo.”
Prabowo made the above remark after receiving the support declaration from the Chairman of the Golkar Party, Airlangga Hartarto, and the Chairman of PAN, Zulkifli Hasan, who joined the Gerindra-PKB coalition at the Proclamation Museum, Jakarta.
Hasto firmly backed the President’s stance, dismissing Prabowo’s claims as unilateral and designed to gain elite support. He highlighted that these claims had been directly refuted by President Jokowi.
He added that the four supporting parties for Prabowo in this presidential election, are merely replicating the coalition map from 2014. At that time, Prabowo was supported by six parties, two of which were Golkar and PAN.
PDIP confident in Ganjar Pranowo’s coalition, but stresses grassroots support
Furthermore, Hasto discussed the current political landscape and the significance of grassroots support. He expressed his confidence in the current coalition led by Ganjar Pranowo, emphasizing that victory in the elections would depend on strengthening grassroots connections.
He noted that the coalition’s potential was bolstered by over a million party officials, the majority of whom held leadership positions in local government.
Hasto also highlighted that PDIP had experienced similar challenges in previous elections and had triumphed due to their focus on candidate quality rather than solely relying on party support. He cited past successes, including the victory of Jokowi in the Jakarta gubernatorial election.
However, Hasto emphasized that PDIP would continue its political communication efforts with various parties, including grassroots engagement. He acknowledged that while the party had already chosen its direction of support, the situation could change if the chosen candidate did not resonate with the people’s aspirations.
Jokowi distances himself from Golkar-PAN-PKB coalition’s endorsement of Prabowo
In a noteworthy differentiation, Hasto elucidated that presidential elections differed significantly from legislative elections, as the strength of the candidate’s character played a pivotal role.
“In presidential elections, the strength of the candidate’s character is crucial, how honest, populist, and visionary the leader is, representing the people themselves,” he stated.
Hasto underscored the immense size of Indonesia and the demands it places on potential presidential candidates.
In his view, a presidential hopeful, especially, must possess robust stamina to effectively reach the entire Indonesian populace. “We can see Mr. Ganjar Pranowo, aged 53, capable of swiftly advancing our great Indonesia,” he affirmed.
Just a day after Prabowo’s declaration of coalition support, President Jokowi clarified his position, expressing reluctance to be tied to the Golkar-PAN-PKB coalition’s endorsement of Prabowo.
Jokowi emphasized that supporting a presidential candidate and being supported were entirely the domain of the political party leaders.
As such, he argued that there was no need for communication between the political parties and himself in determining their support direction. He firmly stated that this was an inter-party collaboration that bore no relevance to his role as President.
“No, no. That’s their matter. It’s about the coalition, about collaboration. I am not a party chairman. I am the President,” Jokowi articulated, following a ceremonial event at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, on Monday (14 Aug).
Coalition map evolving as parties make strategic moves
In previous developments, the Golkar and PAN parties had formally declared their support for Prabowo. The coalition map for the 2024 presidential election comprises distinct configurations:
- The Grand Indonesia Awakening Coalition (KKIR), endorsing Prabowo as the presidential candidate, with the support of the Gerindra Party, the Crescent Star Party (PBB), and the National Awakening Party (PKB).
- The United Indonesia Coalition (KIB), put forward Airlangga Hartanto as the presidential candidate, with the backing of the Golkar Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN), and the United Development Party (PPP). Notably, PPP later redirected their support to Ganjar Pranowo.
- The PDIP Coalition, rallying behind Ganjar Pranowo as the presidential candidate, with the support of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), the National Democratic Party (NasDem), the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), and the United Indonesia Party (Perindo).
Throughout the course of developments, the NasDem Party altered its support direction by forming;
- The Change for Unity Coalition, featuring Anies Baswedan as the presidential candidate, is backed by other parties including the Democratic Party, and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).
However, with Golkar and PAN declaring their endorsement for Prabowo, the United Indonesia Coalition (KIB) inevitably dissolves, leaving three prominent coalitions at present.
The intricacies of these political moves offer a glimpse into the evolving landscape leading up to the 2024 presidential election, with alliances, shifts, and decisions guiding the country’s political future.