June 30, 2023
JAKARTA – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo earlier this week held a meeting with Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, a front-runner in next year’s presidential election, the third in less than month.
Prabowo, also chairman of the Gerindra Party, met with Jokowi at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Monday, shortly after arriving from an overseas trip.
The meeting was not in President Jokowi’s schedule.
“I just arrived from my trip overseas, so I have to file a report. It’s not out of the ordinary for a minister to be summoned by the President,” Prabowo told reporters after the meeting.
Prabowo said he discussed mostly geopolitical issues with President Jokowi during the meeting and that no subjects of domestic politics were being broached.
The defense minister traveled to France last week to see the 2023 Paris Air Show following his decision to purchase 12 French-made Mirage fighter jets.
In January, Indonesia secured a deal to order 42 Rafale fighter jets for US$8.1 billion.
The Monday meeting was Prabowo’s third with Jokowi this month, prompting analysts to speculate that the President was politically leaning toward his former rival in the 2019 presidential election.
Prabowo has repeatedly stated he would implement most of President Jokowi’s programs, including carrying on with the Nusantara capital city project, if he is elected president next year.