Thursday, December 7, 2023

Projo, Jokowi's Key Supporters, Pledge Allegiance to Prabowo

Ichsan Ali
October 14, 2023 | 8:03 pm
Projo Chairman Budi Arie Setiadi, center, declares support for Prabowo Subianto for the 2024 presidential election during their meeting in Jakarta, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (B-Universe Photo/Ichsan Ali)
Projo Chairman Budi Arie Setiadi, center, declares support for Prabowo Subianto for the 2024 presidential election during their meeting in Jakarta, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (B-Universe Photo/Ichsan Ali)

Jakarta. The largest group of supporters of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, known as Projo, on Saturday paid a visit to his former rival, Prabowo Subianto, to declare their support for his presidential candidacy in the 2024 election. Projo played a pivotal role in securing Jokowi's victories in the 2014 and 2019 presidential elections, both of which were won by defeating Prabowo.

Projo indicated that their stance has received the blessing of the president, which signals a growing divide between Jokowi and the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which has nominated former Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo as its presidential candidate.

In recent developments, Jokowi's youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep, joined the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) and became its chairman. Meanwhile, Jokowi's oldest son, Solo Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka, confirmed that Prabowo approached him to be his running mate, although he has yet to make a decision.

These developments have caused discontent among several PDI-P executives, as the party has been the political platform for both Jokowi and Gibran to secure their current public positions.


During their visit to Prabowo's official residence in South Jakarta, Projo Chairman Budi Arie Setiadi said the president had outlined the characteristics of the candidate he supports, and they found those qualities aligned with Prabowo.

"We Projo members have agreed to support Prabowo Subianto as the candidate for the 2024 presidential election," Budi declared. "Indonesia needs a resolute leader, and Mr. Prabowo is a true patriot."

In response, Prabowo, who also serves as the defense minister, affirmed his commitment to safeguarding Jokowi's legacy and continuing his programs if elected president.

"During my time in the cabinet, I witnessed firsthand how Mr. Jokowi always prioritizes the Indonesian people above all else," Prabowo said. "He has consistently worked for the people and national interests despite external pressures."

Projo's meeting with Prabowo took place shortly after their meeting with Jokowi at the Indonesia Arena indoor stadium. However, Jokowi did not explicitly reveal his preferred candidate.

"Don't rush me to announce my choice today because the candidate is not here at the moment," Jokowi told Projo members. "There's no need to hurry. When the time is right, everyone will know."

The meeting was attended by the leaders of political parties within the Prabowo coalition, including Golkar Chairman Airlangga Hartarto, Democratic Party Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, National Mandate Party Chairman Zulkifli Hasan, Gelora Party Chairman Anies Matta, and Crescent Star Party Chairman Yusril Ihza Mahendra.

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