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Jakarta Post

Zulkifli behind move to defeat Ahok: Prabowo

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, September 17, 2018   /   03:57 pm
Zulkifli behind move to defeat Ahok: Prabowo National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman Zulkifli Hasan (right ) and Gerindra Party head Prabowo Subianto give a press statement after their closed-door meeting at Zulkifli's official residence in the Widya Chandra complex in South Jakarta on June 25. (Antara/Wahyu Putro A.)

National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman Zulkifli Hasan was the brains behind the strategy to defeat then-Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama in the 2017 gubernatorial election, presidential candidate and Gerindra Party head Prabowo Subianto said.

In his speech during a briefing for PAN legislative candidates, Prabowo said he had learned about the move from PAN politicians, including Zulkifli, who had told him about the game plan to beat Ahok in the election.

“[Zulkifli] revealed how [he] had mulled strategies to bring down Ahok,” Prabowo told the attendees as reported by kompas.com on Sunday.

Last year, PAN joined the Gerindra and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) coalition during the second round of the Jakarta election to back the Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno ticket, challenging incumbent Ahok and running mate Djarot Saiful Hidayat.

Prabowo said the coalition’s strategy to beat Ahok had been discussed at Zulkifli’s official residence at the time, during which they decided that coalition members should reach out to neighborhood units (RT) and community units (RW) in the province.

“Afterwards, we returned to [our] party executive board [DPP] and went down to RT level. We did not need to hold grand meetings because we did not have money at the time,” Prabowo added.

Anies and Sandiaga clinched victory in the second round after defeating Ahok and Djarot who was backed by a coalition of major political parties, including the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party, the NasDem Party and the United Development Party (PPP). (afr)