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Jakarta Post

Prabowo denies his party is whipping up red scare

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, October 2, 2017   /   02:28 pm
Prabowo denies his party is whipping up red scare Get ready: Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto salutes residents after attending a campaign event in South Tambun, East Cakung, Jakarta on Jan.31. (Antara/Atika Fauziyyah)

Gerindra Party chief patron Prabowo Subianto has claimed he had nothing to do with the renewed anti-communist hysteria in the country.

The former presidential candidate played down a suggestion made by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) that fears of an imminent revival of the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) was “mobilized” by his supporters.

"I don't know. There is no such thing," Prabowo said in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, (NTB) on Sunday as quoted by Antaranews.com.

"I never gave instruction [to spread the PKI issue]," he said.

The SMRC survey, released Friday, shows that only 13 percent of 1,220 respondents believed Indonesia was facing a communist revival. Most of them (about 76 percent) voted for the Prabowo-Hatta Rajasa pair in the 2014 presidential election, and are supporters of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Gerindra and the National Mandate Party (PAN).

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), of which Jokowi is a member, previously accused the opposition of using anti-PKI sentiments to hurt its electability ahead of the 2019 legislative elections.

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) predicted that the PDI-P would win the election if it were held today. (ary)