Jakarta – The Democratic Party has made the decision to join the coalition supporting Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto's presidential bid, following a recent setback with the previous coalition that backed former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, according to a politician on Sunday.
This latest development completes the distribution of power among the nine incumbent parties participating in the February 2024 presidential election, which involves three candidates.
Leaders from nearly all of the coalition members gathered at Prabowo's private residence in Bogor earlier in the day to officially welcome Democratic Party founder Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his eldest son, party chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono.
"The gathering was convened to formally accept the Democratic Party's support for Prabowo's presidential aspirations," said Viva Yoga Mulyadi, deputy chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN).
With the Democratic Party joining, Prabowo now leads the largest coalition of incumbent parties, which includes his Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), PAN, and the Golkar Party.
In addition to these incumbent parties, Prabowo has also secured the backing of smaller parties that currently do not hold seats in the House of Representatives. These include the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), Gelora Party, Garuda Party, the Crescent Star Party (PBB), and Prima Party.
All party leaders were present at Prabowo's residence, with the exception of PBB Chairman Yusril Ihza Mahendra, who was abroad on a trip, Viva said.
"The extraordinary gathering took place in a familial atmosphere, indicating that this grand coalition has the potential to secure the presidency in 2024," Viva added.
The Democratic Party has not yet made an official announcement until it holds a national congress on September 21.
This move by the Democratic Party represents an unexpected shift, as it swaps positions with the National Awakening Party (PKB), whose chairman Muhaimin Iskandar was selected as Anies Baswedan's running mate.
PKB, which initially supported Prabowo, switched allegiances to support Anies and filled in the place vacated by the Democratic Party, which accused Anies that he had reneged on an earlier promise to have Agus as his running mate.