Coalition building

Kompas Newspaper – April 12, 2023

1st Scavenger: Shall we make a coalition too bro?

2nd Scavenger: A coalition to make a living?

Pro-government political parties are moving to build a grand alliance for the 2024 presidential election that will, if it materialises, turn the race into a three-way ticket – as has been widely predicted.

The new alliance hopes to bring together the Great Indonesia Awakening Coalition (KIR), which consists of the Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and the National Awakening Party (PKB), and the United Indonesia Coalition (KIB), which is made up of the Golkar Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the United Development Party (PPP).

Gerindra's presidential candidate and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto said after an Iftar dinner held at PAN's headquarters that the five political parties could join forces to nominate a presidential ticket in the upcoming elections.

Although President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo attended the gathering, the National Democrat Party (NasDem), which backs the nomination of former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan for president, and Widodo's ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which has enough seats in the parliament to go solo in the 2024 presidential race, were both absent.

Prabowo said that all five political parties represented at the Iftar dinner were on the same page and had agreed to work together. If the alliance is confirmed, Prabowo said it could back a ticket endorsed by President Widodo, to which Widodo responded by saying that a coalition between the KIB and the KIR are a good match, although it is still up to the party leaders to decide.

In response to the move, Democratic Party politicians claimed to have been lured by executives of the pro-government parties to join the alliance. Prabowo had conveyed the same request when he met with Democrat Party Chairperson Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) in January. Yudhoyono however turned down the offer and chose to support Baswedan instead.

Democrat Party spokesperson Herzaky Mahendra Putra said the approach would not work as the party and the Coalition for Change, which also includes NasDem and the Islamic based Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS), remained solid in nominating Baswedan.

Previously, Golkar Chairperson Airlangga Hartarto had raised the idea of setting up a grand alliance when attending an Iftar gathering at NasDem's headquarters last week.

Assuming the grand alliance of the five parties does not crumble, the 2024 presidential race will feature three tickets. Of the three, Baswedan is inching closer to nomination with backing from the Coalition for Change. The PDI-P, which could nominate a candidate without the backing of any other parties, has yet to officially declare a candidate, but pressure is mounting for it to choose Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo.

The much tougher job awaiting the would-be grand alliance is to strike a deal on presidential and vice presidential candidates. While the KIB remains in the dark about its best bet for the presidential race, the KIR has not found common ground about Prabowo's nomination by Gerindra.

[Based on the first section of an article by the Jakarta post titled "Analysis: Grand alliance in talks for presidential election:]