Prabowo visits Yudhoyono in hospital
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani
The Jakarta Post
Wearing a suit and red tie, Gerindra Party chief patron Prabowo Subianto visited Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Central Jakarta on Wednesday evening.
Former president Yudhoyono has been receiving medical treatment at the hospital since Tuesday, which forced him to cancel a coalition talk with Prabowo, which was slated for earlier on Wednesday.
Yudhoyono reportedly got sick as he was too tired following a tour to Pacitan, East Java, and Yogyakarta.
The two party bosses were supposed to meet on Wednesday to talk about a possible coalition for the 2019 presidential race, a meeting that Democratic Party secretary general Hinca Pandjaitan said would result in "a surprise”.
Prabowo arrived at the hospital at 6 p.m. and was welcomed by several party executives, including Hinca, deputy chairman Syariefuddin Hasan, senior politician Amir Syamsuddin as well as Agus Harimurti, Yudhoyono’s eldest son who has been promoted to be Prabowo’s running mate in the 2019 race.
“Yudhoyono is my senior. We used to be very close. I want to visit him,” Prabowo said as he arrived at the hospital.
The retired military general admitted that his visit was part of a political communication ahead of the registration of presidential candidates, which is slated for Aug. 4 to 10, but he refused to elaborate on whether or not he would make a decision about forming a coalition during the meeting.
“I am just visiting him because he is sick. How can I talk about a coalition at the hospital?” Prabowo said.
Although Yudhoyono had previously said his party would only make a decision on a coalition and presidential candidate in the last minutes before registration closed, the democrat seemed to be leaning toward Gerindra so far.
Reports have said that Gerindra has offered to pair Prabowo with Agus as president and vice president to challenge incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
The two parties may reschedule the meeting in two or three days time. (evi)
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