Ever since Prabowo Subianto lost to Joko Widodo in the 2014 Indonesian presidential election, the Gerinda party chairman has more or less been out of the public eye, mostly choosing to lead his party and the opposition coalition from behind the scenes.
But it looks like Prabowo will soon make his comeback to the political main stage by trying to wrestle the presidency away from Jokowi in the 2019 election.
“We’ve agreed, we’ll once again nominate Pak Prabowo as candidate for president,” said Gerindra Deputy Chairman Fadli Zon, as quoted by Merdeka yesterday.
“We’re very confident of victory.”
But before anybody can be confident of anything, there’s still the matter of the prerequisites that a candidate must fulfill in order to to qualify as a presidential nomination. In 2014, a political party or coalition of parties could nominate a president and running mate if they had a minimum of 20% of the seats in parliament or 25% of the overall national legislative votes. However, for 2019, since the legislative and presidential elections will run concurrently, that mechanism is due to be amended in a revised law, which has yet to be passed.
Furthermore, Prabowo would have his work cut out him if he were to challenge an incumbent Jokowi, who has grown in strength and popularity despite a rocky start to his presidency. A recent survey by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) showed that an impressive two-thirds of Indonesians are currently satisfied with Jokowi’s performance.