TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Vice President Jusuf Kalla (JK) played an instrumental role in the meeting between President-elect Joko Widodo and ex-presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto on a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train, Saturday, Gerindra Party Deputy Chairperson Arief Poyuono stated.
"Thank you, Pak (Mr.) Jusuf Kalla, for the meeting of Kangmas (big brother) Joko Widodo and Mas (brother) Prabowo Subianto. This is an initial step towards the Indonesia Work (Jokowi's tagline) to reach the Just Prosperous People (Prabowo's tagline)," Poyuono stated in connection with the meeting of the two former presidential candidates of the 2019 Presidential Election.
Poyuono admitted that he and Jusuf Kalla had maintained constant communication with one another since May 1, 2019, so that the presidential election results can be accepted by both parties, and supporters of candidates 01 and 02 can be reunited.
"It is not easy to arrange a meeting between these two figures, although they are actually very close and friendly," he remarked.
After the unrest in front of the Bawaslu headquarters on May 22, 2019, Poyuono revealed that he and JK had called each other to arrange a meeting
"Mr. JK met with Pak Prabowo in order to help placate tensions and restore normalcy after the rioting on May 21-22, 2019.
Before and after the Constitutional Court verdict, he and JK had constantly communicated to seek ways for a reconciliation between the two national figures with the objective of reuniting the community.
"Last Friday, at 10 a.m. local time, Mr. JK called me saying that it was time for Pak (Mr) Prabowo to meet with Mr. Joko Widodo. Mr. JK asked ... Rif, where is Prabowo. I said (he is) in the Jakarta, (just arrived) from overseas. Mr. JK said it was time to have a meeting. Mr. JK will speak today to Mr. Joko Widodo," Poyuono noted.
JK also suggested that the meeting should not be of a formal nature and not cover discussions on politics.
"I said, okay, Mr. JK. Later, I will also convey it to Mr. Prabowo about the proposed meeting. The meeting between Kangmas Joko Widodo and Mas Bowo had a happy ending. We must salute and thank Mr. JK," he emphasized.
Jokowi finally met Prabowo Subianto at the Lebak Bulus Moda Raya Integrated Station (MRT). Both then took the MRT train to Senayan Station and then headed for lunch together at one of the restaurants in the Senayan area.
During the meeting, Jokowi was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Head of the State Intelligence Agency Budi Gunawan, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi, and Chair of Jokowi's National Campaign Team Erick Thohir, while Prabowo's camp was represented by Gerindra Party's Secretary General Ahmad Muzani, Dasco Ahmad, and Edy Prabowo, among others.