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Jokowi denies politicizing social assistance for Prabowo-Gibran

Tempo - February 2, 2024

Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi denied allegations that he politicized social assistance that could benefit presidential candidate pair number 3 Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka. He stressed that the budget for the aid had been approved by the House of Representatives (DPR), not just the executive government.

"It (the social assistance) has been rolled out for a long time, hasn't it? Since September," he said in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, on Friday, February 2. "Don't think of it as our own decisions, it's noted in the state mechanism [through the DPR]."

The President has been aggressively handing out social assistance during his recent working visits to several regions. There are two ongoing social aid programs, namely rice assistance and direct cash assistance (BLT) for food risk mitigation.

The distribution of social aid in the political year is believed to have influenced the upcoming presidential election since the President's eldest son, Gibran Rakabumin Raka, is running for the vice presidency.

Civil society and opponents of the Prabowo-Gibran pair have repeatedly criticized the distribution of social assistance by the President on his visits, suspecting him of such politicization.

Jokowi reiterated that the government had introduced rice assistance in the face of rising rice prices in all countries. "The rice assistance has been provided since September. The BLT is provided because of El Nino-induced drought to strengthen people's purchasing power."

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1828847/jokowi-denies-politicizing-social-assistance-for-prabowo-gibra