Mentions of Kalla´s Role was Maneuver to Curb Prabowo´s Boosting Image

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 , 09:00:00 WIB - Politics

President of the Justice Prosperous Party (PKS) Sohibul Iman (second left) is seen lifting hands with another PKS politician Salim Segaf Al-Jufri (in the middle), Gerindra Chairman Prabowo Subianto (second right), and elected Jakarta Governor and Vice Governor Anies Baswedan (let) and Sandiaga Uno (right), Jakarta, Sunday (30/4). (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS - Prabowo Subianto’s image bolstered, following Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno’s win in the recent Jakarta election, displeasing adversary political parties – as the 2019 Presidential Elections is now in sight - who quickly strategized by revealing the role of other politicians in the pair’s victory.

The first politician to voice the role of Vice President Jusuf Kalla was National Mandate Party (PAN) Chairman, Zulkifli Hasan, followed by United Development Party (PPP) Chairman, Romahurmuziy, who claimed he also suggested Anies Baswedan to run for governor.

Jusuf Kalla did not directly mention himself as one of the influential figures behind the creation of the Anies-Sandi pair, but he did confirm indirectly by saying that he communicated with Prabowo prior to the governor election.

Lingkaran Survei Indonesia researcher Adjie Alfaraby said the recent claims are strategies to curb Prabowo’s boosting image, as the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Chairman has set himself a large stage to promote his role in said election.

"These are efforts to balance Prabowo’s popularity. When Anies won, the public’s perception was that it was Prabowo’s achievement as he promoted a figure from outside his political party. It created an image that he was a political party chairman who was bold to prioritize recruiting a candidate that the public desired," Adjie said, Friday (5/5).

The people who are discontent with Prabowo’s emergence are not only people who are on President Joko Widodo’s side. "With Prabowo dominating image, the constellation for the 2019 Presidential Election was changing," he said.

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) political analyst Arya Fernandes added that the revealing of other figures behind Anies Baswedan’s run for Jakarta governor aims at balancing the influence among parties that supported the new governor.

"This is to prevent domination from one political chairman, Prabowo, who has been claiming that he was behind the win," Arya said, Thursday (4/5).

Second, the revealing of Jusuf Kalla’s role aims at preventing the Gerindra Party from taking too much ‘profit’ from Anies’ win, bearing in mind that the simultaneous regional elections will be held in 2018.

"If an image is created that the Gerindra Party was behind the success, it would boost the party’s image in the West Java, East Java and Central Java governor elections. Hence, measures were deliberately taken to balance the influence," he said.

Third, political parties want to have stronger bargaining position with Prabowo and Joko Widodo. PAN and PPP are parties within the government’s coalition, so they must not offend other politicians within the coalition.

The 2019 Presidential Election is also close.

"They don’t like the claim (Prabowo’s claim) as they are still deciding whether to support Prabowo or Joko Widodo in the 2019 election," he said.

NO OBJECTIONS - Meanwhile, the Gerindra Party said it is okay with the maneuver whilst still claim that it was the deciding party behind Anies Baswedan’s win.

"There’s nothing wrong (with the efforts to offset Prabowo’s gaining influence), but the public knows who supported him (Anies) since the first round," said Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, Vice Chairman of the Gerindra Party, Friday (5/5).

Dasco confirmed that Jusuf Kalla did provide inputs. He explained that Praboso needed inputs from several people, one of them was Jusuf Kalla. The decision to select Anies was Prabowo.

"He would need a lot of inputs, some of them may have came from Jusu Kalla and other senior politicians. There’s nothing wrong with that," he said. (dtc)