The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had offered Gerindra Party leader Prabowo Subianto the chance to be his running mate in the 2019 presidential election, but the latter turned down the offer, a Gerindra official has claimed.
“Prabowo immediately declined the offer,” the party’s deputy secretary general, Andre Rosiade, said as quoted by kompas.com.
Prabowo, who lost to Jokowi in 2014 and is now the de facto leader of the opposition camp, was officially nominated Gerindra’s presidential candidate on April 11.
The party, which does not have enough votes to field a candidate in the presidential election alone, is currently seeking to create a coalition to back Prabowo’s candidacy.
Andre said Prabowo had chosen to follow the demand of the people.
“It is the Indonesian people who want him to be the president,” Andre said, adding that people's quality of life was declining. “Prabowo wants to improve the quality of life of Indonesians.”
Separately, United Development Party (PPP) chairman Romahurmuziy, a Jokowi ally, told the press that Prabowo had once sent a representative to the State Palace to ask if the offer was still open.
“Prabowo felt honored by the offer,” he said during a PPP meeting in Semarang, Central Java, on Friday.
Andre denied Romahurmuziy’s claim, saying Gerindra’s decision to nominate Prabowo as its presidential candidate was final. (gis/ahw)