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Jakarta Post

Jokowi emphasizes diversity, confidence in final rally

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, April 13, 2019   /   08:10 pm
Jokowi emphasizes diversity, confidence in final rally President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo greets his supporters during the last campaign event at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Saturday. (Antara/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

A rock-concert-like atmosphere pervaded inside the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium in Jakarta as tens of thousands of people sang along to legendary rock band Slank, at the final campaign rally of incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Saturday.

The event, which featured dozens of renowned musicians performing and wooing the crowds in support of the Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin ticket, was the incumbent’s largest rally and wrapped up the seven-month reelection campaign before polling day next week.

Dressed in his trademark white shirt, Jokowi was greeted by loud cheers from his supporters in the stadium when he stepped on to the stage and waved his hands before starting his speech, which emphasized that the country’s principle of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) must be protected.

“[Indonesia] is a huge country and a great nation, comprising people from different races, religions and cultural backgrounds [...] so together we have to continue to safeguard and protect our diversity,” Jokowi said.

Supporters of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo attend the incumbent’s final and largest open-air campaign rally at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Saturday.Supporters of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo attend the incumbent’s final and largest open-air campaign rally at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Saturday. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

“Our commitment to preserving the noble values of [state ideology] Pancasila is clear,” he went on, “Pancasila, the Unitary State of Republic of Indonesia, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika and the 1945 Constitution are final and indisputable.”

During the event, the incumbent called for his supporters to maintain their optimism that Indonesia would continue to progress forward as he promised to further develop the country’s human resources if he won a second term in office.

Indonesia, which studies have suggested will be the world’s fourth-biggest economy by 2045, must move forward to prepare itself to face future obstacles and challenges, Jokowi said, adding that he aimed to improve the economy in the next five years.

Despite difficulties and challenges, Indonesia was progressing on the right track, Jokowi said.

Supporters of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo attend the incumbent’s final and largest open-air campaign rally at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Saturday.Supporters of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo attend the incumbent’s final and largest open-air campaign rally at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Saturday. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

“Nothing can be done instantly, not even welfare, in a country as big as Indonesia. However, as we are on the right track, we have to be optimistic that Indonesia will move forward.”

“Our country Indonesia will not go extinct!” Jokowi declared, in an apparent direct jab against rival Prabowo Subianto, who previously said that the country would go extinct should he lose the election.

Although some Muslim preachers, including Yusuf Mansur, led shalawat (religious chanting) during the rally, the event had a different atmosphere from that of the Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno rally at the same stadium last week, during which mass prayers, religious chanting and ubiquitous Islamic attire seemed to lend a more religious flavor. Ma’ruf also led an Islamic prayer for the pair’s victory.

President Joko President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo greets his supporters during the last campaign event at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Saturday. (JP/Seto Wardhana.)

As Saturday marked his final campaign event before April 17, Jokowi took time to thank all the political parties and their leaders who had supported his reelection campaign, as well as volunteers and participants in the rally.

The incumbent also invited Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who served as the head of the steering committee of the Jokowi-Ma’ruf campaign team, to the stage and thanked him for his support over the last 4.5 years of their administration.

“In the name of love, I really want to shake hands with and hug all of you here in one hug, one Indonesia,” Jokowi said. (swd)