Indonesian leader’s volunteer network to back retired general Prabowo for president

Indonesian leader’s volunteer network to back retired general Prabowo for president
Indonesian leader’s volunteer network to back retired general Prabowo for president

Hello and welcome to the details of Indonesian leader’s volunteer network to back retired general Prabowo for president and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Indonesia’s Minister of Defence Prabowo Subianto speaks at a plenary session of the 20th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore June 3, 2023. — Reuters pic

JAKARTA, Oct 12 — The Indonesian president’s vast volunteer network today indicated it will endorse retired military general Prabowo Subianto in the February 2024 election, in the strongest signal yet the nation’s leader is backing his erstwhile rival.

All regional branches of the influential network Projo, which is seen as a proxy for President Joko Widodo, have proposed Prabowo as their candidate, said its secretary general Handoko.

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The hinted endorsement from the Projo network comes amid heated speculation in the world’s third-largest democracy over who the wildly popular leader will back as his successor when he steps down next October.

While he does not lead a party of his own, Jokowi, as the president is known, enjoys an informal following of millions of social media-savvy volunteers who promote his policies and presidency, especially ahead of elections.

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The network, Projo, helped propel Jokowi to victory against Prabowo in the 2014 and 2019 elections. It will announce its final decision at its national meeting this Saturday, added Handoko, who has only one name.

Jokowi is expected to give the opening speech at the event and his instruction will guide which candidate Projo supports, Handoko said.

Jokowi has not yet officially endorsed any candidate and his office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The president is a member of the Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which has nominated regional governor Ganjar Pranowo, as its presidential candidate. But in recent months Jokowi has also shown tacit support for Prabowo, 71, whom he appointed defence minister in 2019.

Prabowo topped an opinion poll published earlier this month with 34 per cent of respondents saying they would vote for him. Ganjar was in second place with 30 per cent, while a third candidate Anies Baswedan trailed with 22 per cent.

Presidential candidates and their running mates are due to register with the election commission from Oct. 19-25.

In another indicator of Jokowi’s support for Prabowo the president’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, 36, has also been touted as a possible vice-presidential candidate for the former special forces commander.

“The 2024 election is for the young generation because 52 per cent voters are Millenials and Gen-Z,” Projo’s Handoko said of the speculation about Gibran.

“This is why Gibran’s name has been raised as one of the vice presidential candidates during our regional meetings.”

The Constitutional Court is expected to issue a ruling next Monday that could see the age limit for vice presidential candidates lowered from 40 to 35. — Reuters

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