Thursday, September 21, 2023

Jokowi’s Circle Says He’s Open to All Candidates, Ganjar Camp Disagrees

Heru Andriyanto
December 6, 2022 | 4:01 pm
Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, left, and Surabaya Mayor Eri Cahyadi attends the International Anti-Corruption Day event at Surabaya Square in East Java on December 1, 2022. (Antara photo/Didik Suhartono)
Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, left, and Surabaya Mayor Eri Cahyadi attends the International Anti-Corruption Day event at Surabaya Square in East Java on December 1, 2022. (Antara photo/Didik Suhartono)

Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s biggest supporting group Projo claimed that he remains open to any potential candidates for his successor in the 2024 election, but the supporters of Ganjar Pranowo are convinced that the president has already made up his mind.

During a rally last month, Jokowi told thousands of supporters about the ideal successor who will continue his development agendas and geopolitical visions. That kind of leader is the one who always puts the people above anything else -- noticeable from wrinkles on his face or white hair on his head.

Teman Ganjar (Friends of Ganjar), a group of supporters seeking to nominate the Central Java governor for the 2024 presidential election, said there is no better clue of Jokowi’s preference for Ganjar than that statement. 

“I have watched the video many times, Mr. Jokowi talked about a desirable leader -- the one who interacts with the people, drops a sweat with them, and understands the people’s needs,” Dedek Prayudi, the group’s deputy chairman, said in a BTV talk show aired on Monday night.


“Then he got more specific by mentioning wrinkles and white hair. It’s interesting that he mentioned someone whose hair is ‘completely white’,” he added.

Dedek was responding to Projo Secretary-General Handoko who said in the same show that the president hasn’t made a decision about the candidate he will endorse.

“During a national gathering in Magelang, the president told us ‘don’t be in hurry'. As far as I’m concerned, what Mr. Jokowi always talked about is the criteria [of a potential successor],” Handoko said.

He reminded that during a gathering with political leaders in the presence of former political opponent Prabowo Subianto, Jokowi said ‘2024 can be Prabowo’s turn’.

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During the November 7 event hosted by the United Indonesia Party (Perindo), Jokowi in a humorous manner also offered an apology to Prabowo for defeating him in the last two presidential elections.

In another event hosted by the Golkar Party, the president said that the next president must have the capability to withstand global economic challenges and maintain Indonesia’s strong position in geopolitics.

However, Teman Ganjar is not the only one who interprets Jokowi’s remarks during the rally as a disguised endorsement for the white-haired governor.

Thousands of internet users expressed a similar sentiment shortly after the rally.

“If this is not an endorsement for Ganjar, I don’t know what it is,” a Twitter user wrote.

Ganjar is currently the poll leading candidate among potential nominees who also include Prabowo and former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.

The latest poll by Charta Politika shows that in a hypothetical race of the three men, Ganjar was ahead by eight points from Anies, who overtakes Prabowo at second of the standing.

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