Prabowo's Supporters May Leave If He Serves as Minister: Observer

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Laila Afifa

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  • Prabowo Subianto (left) and Edhy Prabowo arrive at the Presidential Palace Complex in Jakarta on Monday, October 21, 2019. TEMPO/Subekti

    Prabowo Subianto (left) and Edhy Prabowo arrive at the Presidential Palace Complex in Jakarta on Monday, October 21, 2019. TEMPO/Subekti

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A political expert with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Syamsuddin Haris, said that Gerindra chief patron Prabowo Subianto had taken an unstrategic move by accepting President Jokowi's offer to become a minister. He predicted that support for Gerindra would significantly decrease in the 2024 general election.

    “I strongly suspect that [Gerindra] will be left in the next general election. The party will shrink due to public disappointment,” said Syamsuddin during a discussion regarding Jokowi’s second-term cabinet at Upnormal Cikini, Jakarta, Tuesday, October 22.

    Syamsuddin explained that the disappointment would emerge mostly from the party's supporters who opposed the government thus far, while the party’s management would abide by their chair’s decision.

    “The [party’s] management believed that Prabowo had done the best,” he said.

    Syamsuddin opined that a public official, especially a minister, was like an ATM card for a political party. Moreover, Prabowo claimed he would serve as the defense minister who would get the highest budget.

    “A political party does not have a solid source of funds. So its source of funds will come from a public office position,” said the LIPI senior observer.

    Previously reported, after the meeting with the President, Prabowo announced that he would assist Jokowi in the latter’s new cabinet. He also specifically mentioned that he was asked to help in the defense sector.

    Prabowo’s spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, the former commander of the Army's Special Forces (Kopassus), acknowledged that his supporters would turn their backs on him. However, he did not doubt to leave them.

    “Pak Prabowo said that there is nothing more important than the interest of the nation and the country,” said Dahnil at Hambalang, Bogor, West Java, Wednesday, October 16.

    FIKRI ARIGI | AHMAD FAIZ IBNU SANI