The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will have an easier time in the 2019 presidential election if Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto decides not to run in the election, Indonesia Solidarity Party (PSI) secretary-general Raja Juli Antoni said on Monday.
"Frankly, if the [presidential] candidate pushed forward in the next year's election is a new figure, our job as part of Jokowi's team would be easier compared to what we’d have to handle if Prabowo ran in the election," Antoni said as quoted by kompas.com in Jakarta on Monday.
He said that based on several surveys and the PSI's own internal research, Prabowo was still Jokowi's biggest challenger.
"If this was a boxing match, then we'd be preparing for a heavyweight match between Jokowi and Prabowo," Antoni said. "If Prabowo doesn't run in 2019, then it will just be a middleweight or even featherweight match."
Antoni further said that except for Prabowo, no other public figure had a popularity rate of over 5 percent, and it would be difficult for a new face to boost their popularity within a short period of time.
"If Prabowo does not announce his candidacy by the end of April, we will prepare for a different scenario," he said. "Insya Allah (God willing), our job will be easier."
Prabowo was previously scheduled to announce his presidential bid at the party's national coordination meeting on April 11, but he said last week that there would be no such announcement. (ebf)