Indonesia: PAN’s Zulkifli behind move to oust Ahok: Prabowo

  • National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman Zulkifli Hasan was the brains behind the strategy to defeat then-Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama in the 2017 gubernatorial election, presidential candidate and Gerindra Party head Prabowo Subianto said, as he alluded to Zulkifli’s array of political savviness.
  • In his speech during a briefing for PAN legislative candidates, Prabowo said he had learned about the move from PAN politicians, including Zulkifli, who had told him about the game plan to beat Ahok in the election.
  • “[Zulkifli] revealed how [he] had mulled strategies to bring down Ahok,” Prabowo told the attendees. In 2017, PAN joined the Gerindra and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) coalition during the second round of the Jakarta election to back the Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno ticket, challenging incumbent Ahok and running mate Djarot Saiful Hidayat.
  • Prabowo said the coalition’s strategy to beat Ahok had been discussed at Zulkifli’s official residence at the time, during which they decided that coalition members should reach out to neighborhood units (RT) and community units (RW) in the province.
  • Prabowo added that this shows that PAN has a strong political strategy and that the party’s cadres should therefore, not be afraid of other parties with strong party and grassroots machineries.

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