Jakarta – A Kamisan (Thursday) action today touched on the presidential and vice presidential ticket number 2 of Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka in the 2024 presidential election.
The Civil Society Coalition believes that Prabowo and Rakabuming Raka are not fit to be elected.
This was conveyed by Centra Initiative management board chairperson Al Araf, when reading out a petition in front of hundreds of people who attended a Kamisan action in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Thursday February 1, despite being drenched by heavy rain.
The petition is backed by 145 civil society organisations including Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial), the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW), the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI).
In addition to his, the petition is also supported by 130 individuals such as Suciwati, the wife of renowned human rights defender Munir Said Thalib who was assassinated in 2004, Paian Siahaan, the father of Ucok Munandar Siahaan who was a victim of the forced disappearances in 1997-98, Romo Frans Magnis Suseno and Halida Nuriah Hatta.
The event was also attended by Maria Catarina Sumarsih, the mother of Benardinus Realino Norma Irawan (Wawan), a victim of the Semanggi I student shootings in 1998, Amnesty International Executive Director Usman Hamid, military observer Connie Bakrie, political observer Eep Syaifulloh Fatah and Indonesian Migrant Worker Protection Agency (BP2MI) Chairperson Benny Rhamdani.
Araf conveyed the Civil Society Coalition's view that the advance of Rakabuming Raka as Prabowo's vice presidential running mate clearly ignores the agenda of reformasi – the political reform movement that began in 1998. Rakabuming Raka's nomination was cited as being ridden with practices of corruption, collusion and nepotism (KNN) and violated constitutional ethics.
He said that Rakabuming Raka does not represent the interests of the ordinary people. Rather, his nomination is to secure and perpetuate personal power and the family and cronies of President Widodo. This, said Araf, is clearly not in line with the objectives of the state as enshrined in the Constitution and threatens the constitutional rights of citizens.
Araf said Rakabuming Raka is not fit to be a vice presidential candidate because his nomination was born out of a process that damaged the ethical life of the nation and was unconstitutional.
"Gibran's nomination trampled on our common sense as a nation and country and denied the Constitution", said Araf.
Araf also cited the Constitutional Court ruling which ensured Rakabuming Raka's nomination through decision number 90/PUU-XXI/2023, which is considered to be ridden with corruption, collusion and nepotism, as well as the Constitutional Court Honorary Council's (MKMK) findings which clearly declared that gross ethical violations were committed by Constitutional Court chief justice Anwar Usman, who is also Rakabuming Raka's uncle.
Furthermore, Araf considers that it is inappropriate for Prabowo to nominate himself as a candidate and his is unfit to be elected as Indonesia's future president. He said Prabowo was the person responsible for the abductions and forced disappearance of pro-democracy activists in 1997-98.
Araf said that historical facts have proven that former Lieutenant General Prabowo was dismissed from military service for being involved in the abduction of the activists. But to this day, said Araf, Prabowo has tended to avoid any legal process and the investigation into the affair by the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM).
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Aksi Kamisan soal Pencapresan Prabowo-Gibran: Tak Layak Dipilih".]