February 21, 2023
JAKARTA – Jokowi Mania (JoMan), a group of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo supporters, has recently thrown their support behind Jokowi’s erstwhile rival-turned-ally Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto for the 2024 presidential election after previously endorsing Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo as the country’s next leader.
Prabowo chairs the Gerindra Party and is among top potential contenders for the upcoming presidential race in most public opinion polls along with Ganjar, a politician from ruling Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), of which Jokowi is also a member.
JoMan leader Immanuel Ebenezer said the group decided to give their votes to Prabowo because they believed that the Gerinda Party chairman was “an innovative and brave leader.”
He is a patriotic leader, a forgiving individual and he is always ready to work for the country,” Immanuel said on Thursday, as reported by Antara.
Immanuel said he had formed a new group, called Prabowo Mania 08, to support the minister in his 2024 presidential run. “Every member of JoMan will automatically be a member of Prabowo Mania 08,” he said.
Prabowo has agreed to make his third bid for the country’s highest office after Gerindra executives and members unanimously nominated him as the party’s presidential candidate in August 2022, during its national leadership meeting in West Java.
Prabowo recently welcomed JoMan support for his 2024 presidential bid, saying he was very honored by their endorsement.
“This support has greatly boosted my morale and my spirit. I feel like I have become 23 years younger,” he said during a meeting with JoMan volunteers on Thursday, as quoted by Kompas.com.
“We have to admit that President Jokowi’s leadership has been very successful and I wish to continue [his success] and make the country strong, prosperous and triumphant,” the former army general added.
Prior to supporting Prabowo, JoMan declared its support for Ganjar. The group has retracted their endorsement for Ganjar recently, with Immanuel saying the governor “lacks ideas” and that there is no guarantee that he will run for president.
Ganjar’s growing popularity has sparked speculation about his potential nomination by his own party, the decision on which rests in the hands of party matriarch Megawati Soekarnoputri, who seemed to prefer endorsing her own daughter, House Speaker Puan Maharani, to be the PDI-P presidential candidate.
Jokowi himself has teased support for both Prabowo and Ganjar for the 2024 presidential race, but has not officially endorsed any candidates so far.
A Kompas survey released last year showed that Jokowi still had some influence over the 2024 presidential election, with 15.1 percent of respondents saying they would vote for whomever Jokowi endorsed and and 35.7 percent saying they were still considering whether they would follow his endorsement. (nal)