TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto congratulated Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as Indonesia's president-elect for the 2019-2024 period during their first meeting after the April presidential election.
Prabowo and Jokowi met at the Lebak Bulus MRT Station in Jakarta, Saturday morning before taking a ride together for having lunch at a restaurant at the FX Sudirman shopping center in Senayan.
"Some might mull over why I have not congratulated Mr Jokowi as president, but I, in fact, just wanted to congratulate him in person and face-to-face," Prabowo remarked while shaking hands and hugging Jokowi at the Senayan MRT Station.
Prabowo and his running mate Sandiaga Uno had challenged Jokowi's re-election bid in April by rallying four political parties to support his run against Jokowi’s coalition of nine parties.
The General Elections Commission (KPU) named Jokowi the winner of the presidential election by securing 55.5 percent of the vote, or over 85 million ballots, while Prabowo received over 68 million votes, or 44.5 percent of the ballots. Prabowo then challenged the final results in the Constitutional Court, alleging massive fraud during the election. The court rejected Prabowo's claim and upheld Jokowi's victory.
The people have eagerly looked forward to today's meeting between Prabowo and Jokowi as a moment for reconciliation after the bitterly contested presidential election.
Wearing similar white shirts, Prabowo admitted that the meeting, held on the country’s first MRT line that began operations in March, was Jokowi's idea.
"I have yet to take an MRT ride, so thank you, Mr. President, for taking me. We are proud that Indonesia finally has the MRT that can cater to the interests of the people," Prabowo stated.
"Although this meeting seems to be informal, but I think it has a very important meaning," Gerindra Party chairman added.