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New political parties expected to join the coalition for the Great Indonesia Awakening

INDONESIA — The spokesperson for the Gerindra Party, Andre Rosiade, has revealed that a new political party will join the Coalition for the Great Indonesia Awakening (KKIR; Koalisi Kebangkitan Indonesia Raya) in July 2023.

“God willing, in July there will be several parties declaring their support for Mr. Prabowo and joining the Coalition for the Great Indonesia Awakening,” said Andre, as quoted by Antara last Friday (7 Jul).

According to Andre, the leaders of the new political party that will join their coalition will also be involved in discussions regarding the prospective presidential and vice-presidential candidates to be nominated for the 2024 Presidential Election.

On the other hand, Andre confirmed that the Chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB; Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa), Muhaimin Iskandar, is the strongest candidate for the vice-presidential position to accompany Prabowo Subianto.

Andre further stated that both Gerindra and PKB are continuing to communicate with other political parties. This step, according to Andre, is aimed at expanding its support base in facing the 2024 Presidential Election contest.

“In order to expand the coalition, Mr. Prabowo and Muhaimin have agreed that the Coalition for the Great Indonesia Awakening should be expanded,” he explained.

Eddy Soeparno, the Secretary-General of the National Mandate Party (PAN)

Regarding this matter, the Secretary-General of the National Mandate Party (PAN), Eddy Soeparno, affirmed that his party would easily determine its choice to support either Ganjar Pranowo or Prabowo Subianto as the presidential candidate, as long as Erick Thohir is selected as the vice-presidential candidate. Eddy expressed this during a conversation with the chairmen of other political parties.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chairman of PAN, Viva Yoga, revealed that their party is not in a hurry to make a decision because the registration period for presidential and vice-presidential candidates with the General Election Commission (KPU) is still far away.

“In terms of time, the door of the KPU will be open on October 19, 2023. That’s still a long way off. There is still time for communication between the leaders of political parties that have passed the four per cent parliamentary threshold in the 2019 Election,” said Viva Yoga.

Viva Yoga also stated that PAN does not want to experience a third consecutive defeat in the presidential election. “PAN does not want to experience a third consecutive defeat. The candidate supported by PAN will be a candidate who is predicted to win the presidential election,” he expressed.

It is known that PAN has lost twice in the previous two presidential elections. On both occasions, PAN has formed a coalition with Gerindra to support Prabowo as the presidential candidate. However, the support given on those two occasions did not achieve the desired victory.

“For PAN, Mr. Prabowo and Gerindra are close to PAN. They formed a coalition twice in the 2014 and 2019 presidential elections. However, they did not succeed both times,” said Viva Yoga.

Viva further stated that there are important considerations for PAN in determining their political cooperation or coalition in the 2024 presidential election, including forming a coalition with the ruling party in order to continue national development programs.

“Furthermore, our party does not want to support a presidential candidate who has the potential to lose in the presidential election. Although the predictions from survey institutions vary, PAN also captures the social reality of voter preferences in the presidential election to analyze more accurately,” he added.

Deputy Chairman of PAN, Yandri Susanto, asked Prabowo to choose Erick as his vice-presidential candidate next year. This condition is a concrete step if the Gerindra Party wants PAN to support Prabowo for the third time in the presidential election.

“If Gerindra invites PAN to support Mr Prabowo for the third time and believes they will win, then just take Mr Erick as the vice-presidential candidate. The faster, the better,” said Yandri.

Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Team of the Golkar Party, Nusron Wahid, previously stated that Airlangga is suitable to accompany Prabowo because Golkar is a major party.

“Our hope is that because Golkar is a major party, it is reasonable and fair for Airlangga Hartarto to be the vice-presidential candidate. This way, the Prabowo-Airlangga pair becomes ideal and answers to the future of Indonesia,” said Nusron on May 31, 2023.

Nusron Wahid, Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Team of the Golkar Party

Nusron made these statements in response to PKB politician Faisol Riza’s statement that Golkar agreed to join the KKIR.

However, he emphasized that his party agreed to become a bridge for the formation of integration between KKIR and KIB to create a Grand Coalition.

“That’s not it, we’re not joining KKIR. The truth is that Golkar and PKB both agree to become an anchor or bridge for the formation of integration between KKIR and KIB. We are not the ones joining,” explained Nusron in his statement.

According to Nusron, the merger or integration of KIB and KKIR is aimed at avoiding unhealthy political polarization and framing that negatively impacts the sustainability of democracy.

“We want to avoid the existence of polarized changes and the status quo. We experienced it in the 2014 and 2019 elections, where there were opposing sides like cebong and kampret, religious and secular. This is not good and not healthy. It must be avoided,” Nusron said.

Considering the spirit of this merger or integration of two coalitions, Nusron stated that it would be fair if the presidential candidate comes from KKIR and the vice-presidential candidate came from KIB.

“It’s fair enough. It’s a coalition of two coalitions, KKIR and KIB. If the President is Prabowo from KKIR and the Vice President is Airlangga from KIB, that would be fair. But again, the choice of presidential and vice-presidential candidates is up to each party’s chairman,” explained Nusron.

When asked about the possibility of the Golkar Party and the National Mandate Party (PAN) joining the Coalition for the Great Indonesia Awakening (KKIR) with the condition of securing the position of vice-presidential candidate, the Chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB), Muhaimin Iskandar, declined to comment.

“Ssstt… I can’t talk about the presidential candidate, there’s already a sound (alarm) beep, beep, beep…” said Muhaimin when approached by journalists at the Parliament Complex in Jakarta last Saturday (8 Jul).

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