Indonesia’s Prabowo Claims Victory In Presidential Election

Indonesia’s Prabowo Claims Victory In Presidential Election

Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto, a former general tied to past human rights abuses, claimed victory in Indonesia’s presidential election. He positioned himself as an heir to the current president, Joko Widodo, whose son was his running mate. The unofficial results showed Subianto leading with 57–59% of the votes, though election officials hadn’t declared a winner and other candidates hadn’t conceded.

Subianto’s background includes service under the cruel Suharto dictatorship, serving as a special forces commander connected to abductions and torture. Despite facing criticism, he pledged to pursue a peaceful solution to the Israel-Hamas conflict and to establish an Indonesian embassy in either the West Bank or Gaza.

Given Indonesia’s economic growth, infrastructure projects, and diplomatic influence, the election’s outcome is crucial. However, concerns about democratic values have arisen due to Subianto’s association with authoritarian regimes and his opponent’s familial ties to power. The election logistics were immense, spanning 17,000 islands and involving 270 million people.

Despite facing opposition from human rights activists due to his contentious past, Subianto’s candidature was characterised by efforts to soften his image through the use of social media platforms and portraying himself as a grandfather figure. In addition to his dishonourable discharge from the army, his involvement in kidnappings and torture remains controversial.