The Opposition Future after Prabowo-Jokowi Reconciliation

Writer: Ameidyo Daud

Editor: Hari Widowati

17/7/2019, 20.54 WIB

Prabowo is ready to stand outside the government, but his supporters are divided. Some want him to join the opposition, others want him to join Jokowi.

Joko Widodo dan Prabowo Subianto
Antara | Wahyu Putro
President Joko Widodo (second right) and Gerindra Party Chairman Prabowo Subianto (left) waved to reporters when they arrived at Lebak Bulus MRT Station, Jakarta, Saturday (7/13). The two contestants in the 2019 Presidential Election met and then took the MRT together.

The meeting between Gerindra Party Chairman Prabowo Subianto and President-elect Joko Widodo last weekend left questions about the future of the opposition. Pros and cons came from their supporters responding to the meeting.

When speaking to the media together with Jokowi, Prabowo admitted that some of his supporters are still emotional about the results of the 2019 Presidential Election (Pilpres). However, after the election, he asked supporters from both sides to get along again. “We remain within the framework of one big family [Republic of Indonesia],” Prabowo said, Saturday (7/13).

As if he wanted to ease the anxiety of his supporters, Prabowo through his official Instagram account @prabowo uploaded an illustrated image of himself standing amidst thousands of supporters. In the caption, Prabowo wrote that he would continue to keep the values he holds: “A sovereign, independent, just and prosperous Indonesia.”

“Indonesia that remains intact from Sabang to Merauke. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika that is based on the 1945 Constitution,” Prabowo wrote on Sunday (7/14).

Although the illustration image was liked by 695,436 Instagram users, it also caused pros and cons. Those who support the meeting believed that he will remain firm in his position as the government's opposition in the next five years. Meanwhile, those who disagree with the meeting were disappointed and thought Prabowo had betrayed the struggles of his supporters. “Starting today, I declare that I will no longer support you, Mr. Prabowo,” one Instagram user said.

It was a different story for market players. The Prabowo-Jokowi meeting on the MRT, followed by lunch at one of the shopping centers in Jakarta, brought positive sentiment. The rupiah exchange rate strengthened and then penetrated the psychological level at Rp 13,900 per USD.

The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) also rose 0.7 percent to 6,418.23 points at the close of trading on Monday (7/15). In addition to their reconciliation, Jokowi’s ‘Visi Indonesia’ speech on Sunday (7/14) also brought positive sentiment.

Supporting Party Wants Prabowo to Remain an Opposition

Negative statements came from his close ally, Amien Rais. The Chairman of the Honorary Board of the National Mandate Party (PAN) had previously questioned Prabowo's actions to meet Jokowi without informing him. Not long after, Amien claimed to have received a letter from Prabowo, which explained the reasons for meeting with the incumbent.

In the letter, Prabowo mentioned that he offered Jokowi to meet in Jakarta or at Amien’s residence in Yogyakarta. “I am more concerned with the integrity of NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic Indonesia],” Amien quoted Prabowo's statement in the letter.

Prabowo also sent the same letter to the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) as his partner in the Adil Makmur Coalition. Despite welcoming the meeting of two figures who were the center of the political vortex, PKS Executive Mardani Ali Sera hoped that Prabowo would remain an opposition to the Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin government because it will be good for democracy.

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