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Jakarta Post

What’s in democracy?

  • Editorial board

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Tue, August 11 2020   /  01:00 am
Two Indonesian presidential candidates Prabowo Subianto (C) from the Great Indonesia Movement Party (GERINDRA) and Joko Widodo (R) from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) embrace each other under the eyes of moderator Hikmahanto Juwana (L) after the conclusion of the third presidential debate tackling foreign policy and national defense issues on June 22, 2014 in Jakarta. Dogged by human rights abuse allegations, candidate Subianto was once a distant second to the hugely popular opponent Joko Widodo but he has become a serious contender as the July 9 poll approaches and the popularity gap between the candidates narrows. (AFP/Romeo Gacad)

The reelection of Prabowo Subianto as Gerindra Party chairman on Saturday was just a formality as in early June all the party’s 34 provincial chapters unanimously agreed to entrust him to lead the party for another five years.    In fact, the party has owed him a lot in its transformation into a key player in domestic politics. Starting as a minor party Prabowo founded out of his disgruntle with the Golkar Party, Gerindra has now matched, if not eclipsed, the former political vehicle of the now defunct New Order. Under Prabowo, Gerindra, or Greater Indonesia Movement, has inched close to seizing the presidential seat, namely in 2014 and 2019, both in a see-saw contest. And now, after the upset double defeat, Gerindra is an influential actor that can shape Indonesia’s future through its role in the legislative and executive branches of power. Gerindra holds ...