Saturday, 14 December 2019

Prabowo's Grand Campaign Laden with Identity Politics: Democrat

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Indonesia's presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto speaks during a campaign rally with his running mate Sandiaga Uno at Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 7, 2019. Chairman of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party Prabowo Subianto stressed that he was not willing to see the Indonesian people still struggling to eat and having difficulty to find a job. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

    Indonesia's presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto speaks during a campaign rally with his running mate Sandiaga Uno at Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 7, 2019. Chairman of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party Prabowo Subianto stressed that he was not willing to see the Indonesian people still struggling to eat and having difficulty to find a job. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaDemocrat Party’s secretary-general Hinca Pandjaitan said the grand presidential campaign held by the Prabowo Subianto–Sandiaga Uno ticket on Sunday, was teeming with messages of identity politics.

    “Before we mentioned it, we deemed [the campaign] was infested with identity politics. So we reminded, there's nothing wrong with criticism despite being a coalition member. The Democrat Party has the reponsibilities to maintain the correct path,” said Hinca during a press conference at the Democrat Party’s central executive board (DPP) office in Central Jakarta, April 8, 2019. 

    Earlier reports said Democrat Party chairman Susilo “SBY” Bambang Yudhoyono sent a letter to three Democrat executives containing his criticism against the concept of holding a grand campaign that was seemingly exclusive and touting identity politics.

    According to Hinca, SBY’s letter represented the opinions of most Democrat constituents that were against a concept that highlighted certain symbols. 

    ReadAHY Delivers Political Speech at Closing of Democrat Meeting 

    Earlier, SBY sent a letter to Democrat’s honorary council chairman Amir Syamsuddin, deputy chairman Syarief Hasan, and secretary-general Hinca Pandjaitan and ordered the three to remind Prabowo to promote the spirit of unity in diversity in the latter’s grand campaign.

    “Because I think what will be done in the grand campaign at the GBK (Gelora Bung Karno stadium) is unusual and does not reflect a national campaign that is inclusive, [thus] through the leadership elements of the Democrat Party I am seeking confirmation whether the news that I heard is true,” SBY wrote.

    The former president also called for a campaign that steered clear of identity show of force, whether it was based on religions, ethnics, ideologies or extreme political polarization.

    IQBAL TAWAKAL LAZUARDI (CONTRIBUTOR)