File photo: Prabowo Subianto, left, and Sandiaga Uno raise their hands during a news conference in Jakarta on June 27, 2019. (Antara photo)

Sandiaga May Jump Ship for PPP

BY :YUSTINUS PAAT

JANUARY 08, 2023

Jakarta. Hearsay reports have spread rapidly that Sandiaga Uno is considering jumping ship for the United Development Party, or PPP, after he was seen attending events hosted by the party but a no-show during the leaders’ gathering of his own Great Indonesia Movement Party, or Gerindra, on Saturday.

The tourism minister is rumored to be approaching the PPP to get the nomination for the 2024 presidential election.

Gerindra Chairman Prabowo Subianto neither denied nor confirmed the report when he was asked by reporters after the gathering of Gerindra executives in Jakarta to consolidate leadership and campaign strategy for the general elections.

Prabowo told party leaders that he gives permission to any member who wants to leave the party to ensure a graceful exit.

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“If anyone wants to part ways, let’s do it gracefully. Please,” Prabowo said in his speech.

He took himself as an example by telling the story of when he left the Golkar Party to found Gerindra.

“I appeared before the party chairman and submitted my resignation letter to the Golkar Party to bid farewell,” he said.

After the meeting, reporters asked him if his remarks were directed at Sandiaga.

Prabowo replied: “You interpret yourself, we are thinking positively.” 

A day later, Sandiaga attended a large gathering of PPP leaders and supporters at Kridosono Stadium in Yogyakarta dressing in green attires of the party’s color.

Sandiaga became Prabowo’s running mate during the 2019 presidential election which was won by Joko Widodo.

He was previously known as a successful businessman before getting involved in politics by joining Gerindra and becoming a running mate for the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election with Anies Baswedan.

When his political career seemed to end prematurely after resigning from the vice governor post and losing the presidential election, President Joko Widodo hired him to become the tourism minister.

PPP Deputy Chairman Amir Uskara said the party didn’t actively encourage Sandiaga to jump ship but will welcome his arrival.

“We don’t invite him because we know Mr. Sandi is currently part of Gerindra. But if he decides to join, our door is open,” Amir said.

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