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PKB dismisses Ganjar-Prabowo pairing as 'fantasy'

Jakarta Globe - March 14, 2023

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – An executive of the National Awakening Party, or PKB, dismissed reports of the possible pairing of Ganjar Pranowo and Prabowo Subianto for the 2024 presidential election as too "speculative and premature", saying in Monday's BTV talk show that the Central Java governor is not yet even considered a candidate by his own party.

The comments came after Ganjar and Prabowo shared an intimate moment with President Joko Widodo as the three walked across a paddy field during a recent visit to the Central Java town of Kebumen.

Internet users immediately interpret the moment as the president's blessing for a Ganjar-Prabowo pairing in the presidential race.

But PKB Deputy Chairman Jazilul Fawaid reminded that the party has formally established a coalition with Prabowo's Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) for the 2024 elections.

The candidates for the president and vice president will be decided exclusively by Prabowo and PKB Chairman Muhaimin Iskandar, Jazilul said.

Jazilul claimed that the paddy field moment offered nothing special in the context of the upcoming elections.

"Muhaimin recently met with Prabowo behind closed doors and they were more closely united than the meeting with Ganjar Pranowo," Jazilul said. "In my opinion, there was nothing special [in the paddy field moment] and we should not draw conclusions too prematurely."

BTV news anchor Fristian Griec told him that a day earlier, Prabowo's younger brother Hashim Djojohadikusumo said publicly that the two-party coalition doesn't require Muhaimin as a running mate for Prabowo.

"If Muhaimin is a firm candidate, it would have been formally announced last August," Fristian quoted Hashim as having told the media.

"The statement by Mr. Hashim is both too premature and speculative," Jazilul replied, adding that the agreement signed in August didn't mention Prabowo as the presidential candidate either.

The core of the PKB-Gerindra coalition is to create a mutually beneficial relationship that will bring more votes to both parties in the 2024 legislative and presidential elections, he said.

"What's the point in supporting Gerindra if we lose the elections? The purpose of this coalition is not to name the pair of candidates but to win the elections," Jazilul said.

He also questioned the urgency of considering Ganjar a candidate despite the governor leading all major polls ahead of the presidential race, pointing out the fact that the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), of which Ganjar is a member, hasn't named him a candidate.

"They met on a paddy field, so it's not a situation that could compel us to fantasize that one is the presidential candidate and the other is a running mate. It's not how politics work," he said.

In the same talk show, Gerindra executive Andre Rosiade said it's very unlikely that Prabowo would team up with Ganjar as a running mate.

The Gerindra national congress last year mandated Prabowo as the party's presidential candidate, not a running mate, Andre said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/pkb-dismisses-ganjarprabowo-pairing-as-fantas