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Jokowi’s admission of ‘interference’ in Indonesian presidential elections raises political questions but not against the law

Jokowi’s admission of ‘interference’ in Indonesian presidential elections raises political questions but not against the law



Before Jokowi openly admitted to interfering in the election, analysts had speculated about it as the president made several comments and held meetings with different political figures.

This includes meetings with PDI-P President Megawati Soekarnoputri, Golkars Airlangga Hartarto as well as the Head of the National Mandate Party (PAN) Zulkifli Hasan among others.

He has also made statements about his preferred choice to be the next president since last year.

Last November, Jokowi said the ideal president would have gray hair. Many interpreted it as a sign of the president endorsing Mr Pranowo as the Central Java governor has gray hair.

On another occasion, also in November, Jokowi declared 2024 to be the year of Mr. Subiantos. The retired army general ran for president twice in 2014 and 2019 but lost twice to Jokowi.

Jokowi also went to visit a rice paddy in Central Java with Mr. Pranowo and Mr. Subianto in March, which some take as a sign that he approves of them.

The president has so far given no indication that he would support Mr Baswedan.

On May 2, Jokowi met with the leader of six political parties currently in government, raising questions about whether they were strategizing for the upcoming elections.

Jokowi, however, brushed off intervention concerns saying on May 5 that they were just having a chat.

I don’t get involved. As for presidential and vice-presidential candidates, it is parties or coalition of parties, I have said this many times, he told reporters in Jakarta at the time.

Yet on May 29, in an interview with several local media editors, Jokowi admitted he wanted to get involved.

Mingle for the country, for the national interest. I decided to intervene in a positive way. Why can’t I? I can’t (I) do politics? No constitution has been violated. For this country, I can mingle, he said.




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