Anyone but Prabowo-Gibran: 'Four Finger Salute’ goes viral ahead of 2024 elections

CNN Indonesia – January 30, 2024
John Muhammad's Four Finger Salute flyer on X – Undated (X)

Jakarta – The Four Finger Salute (Salam 4 Jari) movement or campaign initiated by Indonesian Green Party president John Muhammad has gone viral on social media platforms X (Twitter) and Instagram.

John says that the movement is a call to vote for anyone aside from election ticket number 2 – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka – in the 2024 presidential elections.

Meaning the movement is inviting the public to choose between the number 1 presidential ticket of former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan and National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairperson Muhaimin Iskandar (Cak Imin), or the number 3 ticket of former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo and former Security Chief Mahfud MD.

"This movement is not at the request of candidates 1 or 3. This is purely because of our concerns, and from the start this has been our position", said John when contacted by CNN Indonesia on Monday January 29.

John explained the reasons why they decided to campaign for the Four Finger Salute movement. First, the movement is convinced that candidate number 2 is not fit to be elected.

Second, according to John, civil society is aware that in order to defeat candidate number 2, a larger people's solidarity movement is needed than just an alliance between the Baswedan-Iskandar and Pranowo-Mahfud tickets.

Third, he is aware of the growing potential to push through a win for the number 2 ticket in the first round of the elections. Fourth, he also highlighted the many invisible hands that do not want a coalition to be formed between the number 1 and 3 tickets if the 2024 presidential election goes to a second round.

"And what I have picked up from this movement, is that there is an awareness that our language is more one of wanting candidate number 2 to lose rather than who wins between tickets 1 and 3", he said.

John also explained the meaning of the Four Finger Salute. First, four figures shows an alliance between candidates number 1 and 3.

Second, it is in line with the forth principle of the state ideology of Pancasila (representative democracy). Third, it is the international code or sign for danger or a request for help. Fourth, as symbol of a new progressive political force that is against the oligarchy and political dynasties.

And in this call, John is also asking the public not to golput or abstain from voting in the 2024 presidential elections. He is asking the public to choose from candidate number 1 or 3 and to voice its aspirations and demands, in other words not just give the two tickets a blank cheque.

"Show our four finger symbol at various events and in the media", he said.

The Four Finger Salute movement is being followed by a number of netizens who have joined in uploading Twibbon (a small icon or logo) photos where they are juxtaposed with the four finger symbol affixed with the statement "One three plus us" (Satu tiga tambah kita) accompanied with the hashtag #BukanPrabowoGibran (#NotPrabowoGibran).

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Ramai Jelang Pilpres 2024, Apa Itu Gerakan Salam 4 Jari?".]