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Jakarta Post

Prabowo flies to Dubai, Vienna amid simmering tension after May 22 riots

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani and Karina Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 29, 2019   /   02:44 pm
Prabowo flies to Dubai, Vienna amid simmering tension after May 22 riots Presidential contender Prabowo Subianto arrives at polling station 41 in Bojong Koneng, Bogor, West Java, on Wednesday. (JP/Made Anthony Iswara)

Presidential candidate and Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto left Indonesia on Tuesday morning for a trip to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and Vienna, amid speculation that his party was linked to the May 22 riot.

Gerindra executive Ahmad Riza Patria confirmed that Prabowo had flown to Dubai with several friends on a private jet for a medical checkup.

“He is there for a routine medical checkup, something that he regularly does. He will also meet several business colleagues there,” Riza said.

His friends were reported to be Russian nationals, namely Mikhail Davydov and Amzhelika Butaeva, as well as German nationals and an American  .

According to a release by the official website of the House of Representatives published on April 14, Davydov and Butaeva were two members of the Russian Legislative Body who were invited to the House by Deputy Speaker Fadli Zon, a Gerindra deputy chairman, to observe the election.

Riza, however, could not give details on how long Prabowo would be out of the country.

Immigration office spokesperson Sam Fernando confirmed that Prabowo had traveled to Dubai on Tuesday.

"We haven't received any information about [Prabowo going to] Austria," he said on Wednesday.

Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, a Gerindra deputy chairman, confirmed that Prabowo would continue to Vienna for business purposes, saying that the trip had been planned long ago but postponed because of the April 17 elections.

“He will be there just to meet several business colleagues. Maybe he will spend three days [in Vienna]. They [Prabowo’s companions] have befriended Prabowo for business matters,” Dasco said.

Gerindra has been in the spotlight after the police confiscated an ambulance marked with the party's logo and filled with rocks during the riots over President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo's election victory in Sabang, Central Jakarta -- near the office of the Elections Supervisory Agency -- last week.

The party claimed the ambulance had nothing to do with the riots and was there to help injured protesters.

“He’s not running away. We condemn such speculation,” Dasco said.