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Jakarta Post

Surya Paloh to meet with Prabowo on Sunday night

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, October 13, 2019   /   05:08 pm
Surya Paloh to meet with Prabowo on Sunday night President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (left) and NasDem Party chairman Surya Paloh talk during a meeting on Nov. 22, 2018. (Antara/Yudhi Mahatma)

NasDem Party chairman Surya Paloh is scheduled to meet Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto on Sunday night at the former’s residence in South Jakarta.

Gerindra spokesperson Dahnil Simanjuntak confirmed that the meeting would take place at 7 p.m.

“Yes, [Prabowo will visit Surya] for silaturahmi [a friendly meeting],” Dahnil told reporters on Sunday. 

The meeting comes a few days after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo held talks with two leaders from the erstwhile opposition coalition to discuss the possibility of their parties joining the government. Jokowi met with Prabowo on Friday and former president and Democratic Party patron Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday. 

In April’s election, the Democratic Party was in the coalition supporting Prabowo’s presidential bid, alongside Gerindra, the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

NasDem, on the other hand, was the first party to declare its support for Jokowi’s reelection bid in February 2018, but relations between Surya and Jokowi’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) have apparently soured since the election results were officially declared in June.

In late July, PDI-P chairwoman Megawati met with Prabowo, apparently reconciling with the losing presidential candidate. The next day, Surya met with Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, whom many see as a political opponent of Jokowi, and said that NasDem might back Anies in the 2024 presidential election. 

Earlier this month, a video of Megawati snubbing Surya during the House of Representatives swearing-in ceremony went viral. The video shows Megawati looking away from Surya as she passes by and shakes hands with other politicians next to him. 

NasDem lawmaker Taufiqulhadi denied, however, that the Surya and Prabowo would discuss the composition of the government coalition.

“The coalition is the domain and the prerogative of the President,” he said on Sunday. “So [the meeting] will just be silaturahmi.” (kmt)