Sandiaga Uno, looking pale and dejected in a blue polo shirt, stood next to Prabowo Subianto as he claimed victory in the presidential election on Thursday (18/04). (Antara Photo/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

Is Sandiaga Uno Ill or Are Cracks Appearing in Prabowo's Camp?


APRIL 19, 2019

Jakarta. Sandiaga "Sandi" Uno, the billionaire running mate of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, again failed to make an appearance at the latter's latest "victory" celebration at his home in South Jakarta on Friday (19/04).

Sandiaga's on-and-off appearance since Wednesday's election has raised speculations that cracks might be beginning to appear in the Prabowo camp.

But Sohibul Iman, the chairman of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), one of Prabowo's main backers, told that Sandi was taken ill yesterday and had to undergo blood tests. 

"He wasn't feeling very well. He went to the doctor to get it checked," Sohibul told journalists on at Sandi's home on Jalan Pulo Bangkeng in South Jakarta, which is located only one kilometer away from Prabowo's home on Jalan Kertanegara.

Sohibul said Sandi told him he was suffering from a heavy bout of the flu, and that he was feeling weak. "I told him to get a proper rest. He didn't need to take part in our activities today," he said.

Prabowo reportedly changed his plan for a street party to celebrate his election victory—which he has claimed three times in less than 24 hours since the election, despite quick count results pointing to an easy win for his rival Joko "Jokowi" Widodo—at the Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta, and moved it to his family home on Jalan Kertanegara.

According to Prabowo's campaign team, the decision to move the party was made to honor Indonesian Christians commemorating Good Friday at the Cathedral just across the street from Istiqlal Mosque.

Sandiaga was nowhere to be seen when Prabowo claimed victory for the first time on Wednesday. The former Army general refused to concede the election to Jokowi and claimed that the results of the quick count, which in past elections had accurately predicted the winners, could not be trusted.

On Wednesday afternoon, Prabowo said his campaign team had done their own vote-counthing and that the results showed he had won the election with 55.44 percent of the votes.

Then in the evening, Prabowo repeated what he did in 2014 when he also refused to concede defeat to Jokowi, performing a sujud syukur (prayer of thanks) with his campaign team for another self-proclaimed victory.

By that time, he was confident enough to claim an even bigger win over Jokowi, with 62 percent of the votes according to a "real count" from 320,000 polling stations conducted by his own team of bean counters.

Sandiaga finally appearead next to Prabowo when he claimed victory for the third time on Thursday afternoon. Looking pale and worse for wear, Sandiaga did not say a word during the ceremony.

sandiaga with prabowo
Amien Rais and Prabowo Subianto with a listless Sandiaga Uno at Prabowo's home in South Jakarta on Thursday (18/04). (Antara Photo/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

Sohibul said Sandiaga's condition had taken a turn for the worse since Thursday's event and that he was at Sandi's home on Friday to visit him.

The PKS chairman said it was "only human" that Sandi fell ill after hearing the resuts of the quick count. "If you hope for something to happen, and you find out that hope has been quashed, there must be some [effects]. I think that's only human," he said.

In the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election, Prabowo, who was backing current Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan and his then running mate Sandiaga Uno, immediately held a press conference claiming victory after quick count results pointed to their win.