Indonesia: ‘I am open to anyone’: Jokowi says on Gerindra joining camp

  • President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has given a signal that the doors are open for opposition and presidential rival Prabowo Subianto-led Gerindra Party to join the government coalition during his second and final term in office.
  • In an exclusive interview with The Jakarta Post on 11 Jun 19, Jokowi said he was open to cooperating with anyone who sought to work together in developing the world’s third-largest democracy when he got asked about the chance of welcoming Gerindra into the ruling coalition.
  • The possibility of Gerindra joining the coalition further widened the chance for Jokowi, who defeated Prabowo by a margin of 17 million votes in the Apr 19 election, to secure more political support and a stronger grip at the House of Representatives for the next five years.
  • Five political parties in Jokowi’s coalition are projected to control 349 of 575 seats at the House, with four parties set to dominate the five House speakership seats based on the outcome of the legislative election.
  • Gerindra, which placed third in the legislative elections and was projected to win 78 seats, would be the only opposition party sitting in the legislative body’s speakership, in a circumstance that analysts said might weaken the voices critical of the government.
  • Executives from three ruling political parties — the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the United Development Party (PPP) — have also confirmed that the coalition had discussed the possibility of inviting Gerindra to the camp.
  • One of the sources, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said that most of the parties in the ruling coalition were more interested in Gerindra, the largest party in the opposition, rather than other political parties in the rival camp.
  • The news was rather surprising, given that Jokowi himself appeared to have intensified talks with the executives of the Democratic Party and the National Mandate Party (PAN) — both of which supported Prabowo’s candidacy — as he had met them on several occasions since voting day.
  • Gerindra Party executive Andre Rosiade admitted that the ruling coalition had offered the party some positions in the cabinet in exchange for joining the camp. “However, now we are still focusing on winning the election dispute in the [Constitutional] Court.”

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