Sandiaga visits Prabowo after backing rival candidate in polls

Sandiaga Uno (seated, rear left), watches as PPP legislative candidate Agoes Joesni (right) takes the floor at an election rally in this file picture from Feb 4, 2024 in Pekalongan, Central Java. - Antara

JAKARTA: Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno paid a visit to president-elect Prabowo Subianto at his private residence on the first day of Aidilfitri, a move that could signal the two politicians’ reconciliation after they took divergent paths in the 2024 general election on Feb 14.

Sandiaga ran for vice president alongside Prabowo in the 2019 presidential election, which they lost to President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin. He later shifted his allegiance to the Muslim-based United Development Party (PPP) after parting ways with Prabowo’s Gerindra Party.

For this year’s election, he joined the rival camp backing Ganjar Pranowo of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). Wearing traditional Muslim attire in the distinctive green of the PPP, Sandiaga and his wife Nur Asia arrived on Wednesday (April 10) evening at Prabowo’s residence on Jl. Kertanegara in South Jakarta, CNN Indonesia reported.

Prabowo hosted a private gathering that day to celebrate Aidilfitri, also known locally as Lebaran, and welcomed a number of prominent guests including vice president-elect and Surakarta Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the eldest son of President Jokowi.

"I’m here for the Lebaran celebration only,” Sandiaga briefly told reporters afterward, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

Sandiaga has hinted several times at a possibility that the PPP could realign with Prabowo, saying the party was open to supporting the incoming government to take an active part in building the nation.

For the first time since its establishment in 1973, the PPP failed to secure a seat at the House of Representatives in the 2024 legislative election when it won 3.87 per cent of the vote, just 0.13 percentage point shy of the 4 per cent electoral threshold.

The party is challenging the results of the legislative election at the Constitutional Court. - The Jakarta Post/ANN

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Indonesia , Sandiaga , Prabowo


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