Gerindra to welcome new partners for 2024 election, politician says

Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto has met with President Joko Widodo at least three times last month, prompting analysts to speculate that the President was politically leaning toward his former rival.


Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto delivers a speech during the party's 12th anniversary at the Gerindra Central Executive Board (DPP) office in South Jakarta, in this file photo dated Feb. 6, 2020, (Antara/Sigid Kurniawan)

July 4, 2023

JAKARTA – Gerindra Party politician Andre Rosiade has said his party would welcome new partners this month to back the presidential bid of chairman Prabowo Subianto in the presidential election next year.

Gerindra has forged an electoral alliance, called the Great Indonesia Awakening Coalition (KKIR), with a smaller pro-government party the National Awakening Party (PKB), which has been pushing for its own chairman, Muhaimin Iskandar, to be Prabowo’s running mate.

“There are some political parties which, God Willing, will join us this July, whether they are legislature or non-legislature parties,” Andre told reporters on Sunday, reported.

Andre did not reveal the identities of the parties in question.

Gerindra is currently in talks with fellow pro-government parties, the Golkar Party and the National Mandate Party (PAN), to nominate a ticket for the 2024 presidential race, despite the two potential partners being members of another electoral alliance, the United Indonesia Coalition (KIB). The KIB has been facing the risk of splitting apart as its three members struggle to coalesce on a unified presidential candidate because none of them has a strong name to match the frontrunners in public opinion polls.

PAN put forward non-member State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister and Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) chief Erick Thohir as Prabowo’s potential running mate during a meeting between the two parties recently. Erick’s electability far outranks that of Muhaimin in recent public opinion polls.

Golkar, meanwhile, has hinted at the possibility of supporting Prabowo’s presidential candidacy in 2024 in exchange for naming its own chairman Airlangga Hartarto as a running mate for the Gerindra politician.

Andre said any possible new partnerships would only strengthen the KKIR’s position in the coming elections, dismissing speculation that having a new member could mean that the odds of Muhaimin becoming Prabowo’s running mate grew slimmer.

Andre said that the final decision on who would be Prabowo’s running mate on the KKIR ticket lay with the two leaders of Gerindra and the PKB, saying that Muhaimin “plays a key role”.

“Not to mention Prabowo and Muhaimin share a commitment, that they want to see the alliance grow stronger with additional new members.”

Forming an alliance with the PKB would seek to remedy some of Gerindra’s shortfalls by tapping into the Islamic party’s voter base through Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).

Some analysts, however, believe that Prabowo is still window-shopping for a running mate with better electability to help rally voters in Central Java and East Java, two major regions that he lost in 2019.

Prabowo met with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at least three times last month at the invitation of the former, prompting analysts to speculate that the President was politically leaning toward his former rival in the 2019 presidential election.

Speculation says Jokowi is not ready to go all-out in backing the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) presidential candidate Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo just yet. Ganjar and the PDI-P have secured the support of the United Development Party (PPP), another member of the Golkar-led KIB.

Both Ganjar and Prabowo have continually traded top spot in recent electability polls, and their respective electabilities far eclipse that of opposition figurehead Anies Baswedan, whose presidential bid is backed by the NasDem Party and two opposition parties.

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