The Jakarta Post
The victory of Prabowo Subianto in the upcoming presidential election might harm Indonesia-US ties following a New York Times report saying that his candidacy has raised deep concerns among rights activists in Indonesia and abroad.
'If a high-ranking official ' in this case is at a level of a president ' is rejected by the US, this will eventually influence Indonesia-US relationships, including their consequences in Asia Pacific geostrategies,' said Alfan Alfian, a political analyst from the University of National (Unas), on Tuesday as quoted by tribunnews.com.
It was unlikely that the worsening of Indonesia-US relations would lead to the pulling of US assets in Indonesia, however, he further said.
Alfan said that the US still needed Indonesia to prevent invasions by China, deemed as its heavy rival in the Asia Pacific.
'I think it will not go that far because the US still needs Indonesia as its strategic partner in the Asia-Pacific region. Moreover, we are now living in the Asia-Pacific century, which is marked by mounting rivalries between the US and China,' he said.
Alfan said the upcoming presidential election was a domestic affair, therefore the US should not intervene on the matter.
'Objections against Prabowo have become a classic issue. Prabowo is now still a presidential candidate but if he is elected as president, the situation could be different. It could be that he is not rejected,' said Alfan.
The article, titled 'Indonesia Candidate Tied to Human Rights Abuses Stirs Unease' by Joe Cochrane, published on March 26, stated that rights activists in Indonesia and abroad raised deep concerns over Prabowo's candidacy on his alleged involvement in rights violations in the past.
'They note that the country's human rights commission recommended that he be prosecuted in the alleged abductions of pro-democracy activists in the late 1990s, during the final months of the military-backed government of president Soeharto, his father-in-law at the time,' it said. (idb/ebf)
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