Forming Prabowo-Sandiaga’s Campaign Team a Complex Task

Penulis: Amal Ihsan Hadian

Jum'at 14/9/2018, 16.29 WIB

Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno have not yet finished compiling a list of names for their campaign team, even though the KPU’s submission deadline is soon, with party cadres reluctant to join.

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Unlike Joko Widodo and Ma'ruf Amin, the presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and vice presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno have not yet finished compiling a list of names for their campaign team, even though the deadline for submitting the list to the election commission is at the end of next week. Many figures have reportedly refused to join the team, including supporting party cadres, showing the coalition challenging the incumbent is still not solid.

General Elections Commission (KPU) Commissioner Hasyim Asyari said the name list and structure of the campaign team members must be submitted no later than Saturday 22 September 2018, because the campaign period for the 2019 Presidential Election (Pilpres) will begin on 23 September. This is based on KPU Regulation No. 22/2018 on the Nomination of Participants in the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and KPU Regulation No. 23/2018 on General Election Campaign.

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The two presidential-vice presidential pairing were supposed to submit temporary lists of team members during KPU registration on 10 August. However, the campaign teams’ temporary structure should have been completed before the specified deadline. The temporary vision and mission documents that have been submitted to the KPU must also be completed and corrected before 22 September.

The Joko Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin pair has completed and revised the name list for campaign team members. Entrepreneur Erick Thohir has filled the head position for the National Campaign Team of Indonesia Working Coalition. There was also a change in the deputy treasurer position, with entrepreneur Yusuf Hamka taking over from Minister of Social Affairs Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita.

But it is different for the Prabowo-Sandiaga pair, with the two not yet completing the name list for their campaign team. The Prabowo camp is reportedly having difficulties in compiling a list because many prominent figures have refused to join their team, even though information obtained by D-Inside shows they are very ambitious to gather as many public figures as possible to garner great support.

For example, senior economist Rizal Ramli claimed to have been asked to join the Prabowo-Sandiaga campaign team, but the former coordinating minister for maritime affairs in President Joko Widodo’s administration declined, to remain in a neutral position to study the candidates’ economic programs.

Another refusal came from well-known advocate Hotman Paris Hutapea, who claimed that he had been offered a position as the Prabowo-Sandiaga campaign spokesperson.

Zannuba Ariffah Chafsoh Rahman Wahid, better known as Yenny Wahid, is another prominent figure that has been approached. Sandiaga claimed to have directly lobbied the second daughter of the late President Abdurrahman Wahid to join his campaign team, but Yenny said she could not yet give an answer.

In addition to prominent figures, supporting party figures who were expected to automatically join the team have also refused. Democratic Party Chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and his son Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) declined to head the Prabowo-Sandiaga campaign team.

According to Democratic Party Secretary General Hinca Panjaitan, SBY’s position as chairman of the party and AHY’s duties as the Commander of the Joint Task Force (Kogasma) of the Democratic Party Campaign Team in the 2019 General Election, mean they are unable to head the Prabowo-Sandi campaign team. “However, SBY is willing to help and provide input to Prabowo’s campaign team.”

National Mandate Party (PAN) politician Bima Arya also declined, and chose instead to focus on carrying out his duties as Mayor of Bogor.

Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician Mardani Ali Sera, who headed Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno’s campaign team during the Jakarta Gubernatorial Election last year, reportedly refused to join. “What they need is young and fresh figures,” he said.

A reliable source told D-Inside that many public figures refused because they were not sure of Prabowo-Sandiaga’s chances of winning the election. One figure who was lobbied to fill the spokesperson position questioned Prabowo’s electability after he has seen no increase in various surveys. Faced with Prabowo’s small chance of winning, they refused to join.

The refusal of many supporting party cadres is related to the fact that their parties have not fully accepted the Prabowo-Sandiaga pairing, which is seen as a Gerindra-Gerindra formation. “Supporting parties still think they are only used as cheerleaders,” said the source.

(Read: Prabowo-SBY Coalition Crumbles)

With such consideration, the supporting parties do not want their cadres to head the campaign team. The head should be chosen from people outside the party and have popularity to attract broad support. “If the president-vice president candidate formation is a Gerindra-Gerindra formation, why should our party cadres be the head of the team? The impression I get is that we only act as servants,” said a party official.