Prabowo Subianto’s Contributions to Political Life

Prabowo Subianto’s Contributions to Political Life

Source: “Prabowo: Rekam Foto Sang Patriot,” pages 69-103

Prabowo Subianto began his political career in the Golkar Party. His idealism and determination to advocate for pro-people policies led him to establish the Gerindra Party in 2008.

Built on a foundation of a meaningful manifesto and clear action programs, Gerindra quickly became the second-largest political party in Indonesia. The public showed resounding support for Prabowo and the numerous local leaders he endorsed.

In 2008, Prabowo founded the Gerindra Party, which shared his vision, mission, and objectives. Due to its clear vision and mission, Gerindra gained the public’s trust and became Indonesia’s second-largest party by 2019.

Gerindra first earned public trust to participate in Parliament in 2009, securing 26 seats in the DPR RI. Since then, Gerindra has consistently fought for laws that benefit the common people. Initiatives led by Gerindra include the Village Law, which ensures every village receives an annual budget of Rp. 1 billion, as well as laws on Disability, Anti-Sexual Violence, and other pro-people legislations.

Realizing that significant change required executive power, Prabowo ran for Vice President alongside Megawati Soekarnoputri in 2009. The Megawati-Prabowo ticket was well-received, garnering 32 million votes.

Recognizing the crucial role of local governments in improving people’s lives, Prabowo used Gerindra as a political platform to support the nation’s best candidates in local elections to advance and lead their regions.

In 2012, Prabowo supported the gubernatorial ticket of Ir. Joko Widodo and Ir. Basuki T. Purnama for Jakarta. In 2013, he backed Bima Arya Sugiarto for the Bogor city election, and M. Ridwan Kamil for the Bandung city election.

In 2017, Prabowo endorsed Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno for Governor and Vice Governor of Jakarta, respectively.

From 2015 to 2020, through Gerindra, Prabowo sponsored and helped elect 16 gubernatorial pairs and 336 pairs of mayors/regents across four simultaneous local elections held in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2020.

In 2013, Prabowo made Gerindra the first and only political party to declare an actionable plan named “6 Program Aksi Transformasi Bangsa” (Six National Transformation Action Programs). This plan, created with hundreds of professors and academics, features clear and measurable targets.

To Gerindra members, Prabowo consistently emphasizes the importance of sustained, tangible actions that genuinely aid the populace. Since 2010, through the Indonesia Raya Health Organization (KESIRA), he has provided 360 ambulances and hearses free of charge. This fleet has been crucial in offering compassionate services to those in need.

In 2014, Prabowo Subianto formed the Red and White Coalition (KMP), comprising six political parties: Gerindra, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the United Development Party (PPP), the Crescent Star Party (PBB), and Golkar. The Red and White Coalition endorsed Prabowo and Hatta Rajasa as their candidates for the 2014 Presidential Election. Through Prabowo’s persistent campaigning, the Prabowo-Hatta ticket successfully garnered 62 million votes.

Under the political slogan “Indonesia Rises,” not only did Prabowo receive extensive support, but the Gerindra Party also saw a dramatic increase in its voter base. Gerindra’s vote share surged 219% in the 2014 election compared to 2009, while Prabowo’s personal vote tally rose by 93% from the previous presidential election.

Prabowo’s approach to politics is driven by substantive ideas. This was evident when he first ventured into active politics in 2004 and authored “Kembalikan Indonesia” to articulate his vision. He continued to share his insights through another influential work, “Rebuilding Great Indonesia,” published in 2014.

In 2017, Prabowo adapted his writing style to reach a broader audience, aiming to make his ideas more accessible and understandable to the general public. He authored “The Paradox of Indonesia,” a book that delves into two critical challenges confronting the nation: the fragility of its democracy and an economy susceptible to the influence of major capitalists. The book also proposes thoughtful solutions to these pressing issues.

In the 2019 Presidential Election, Prabowo ran for president alongside Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno. Prabowo had known Sandiaga for a long time and was the one who encouraged Sandiaga to enter practical politics in 2014. To run for vice president, Sandiaga resigned from his position as Deputy Governor of DKI Jakarta for the term 2017-2022.

The Prabowo-Sandi ticket garnered widespread endorsements from the Islamic Clerical Assembly and diverse groups across Indonesian society. Their significant support stemmed from their commitment to addressing key national concerns, notably increasing employment opportunities and lowering living costs for all citizens.

The Prabowo-Sandi campaign in the 2019 Presidential Election demonstrated strong grassroots support for Prabowo. The public voluntarily donated funds and created needed campaign paraphernalia.

Everywhere Prabowo-Sandi went in Indonesia, they were enthusiastically welcomed by the public. Ultimately, the Prabowo-Sandi pair secured 68 million votes from the Indonesian people.

Prabowo Subianto, along with Gibran Rakabuming Raka, attended a declaration event as presidential and vice-presidential candidates before registering at the General Elections Commission (KPU). This declaration event was attended by various party leaders from the Forward Indonesia Coalition, including Golkar’s Airlangga Hartarto, the Democrat’s Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, Gelora’s Muhammad Anis Matta, PAN’s Zulkifli Hasan, PBB’s Yusril Ihza Mahendra, Garuda’s Ahmad Ridha Sabana, PSI’s Kaesang Pangarep, and Prima’s Agus Jabo Priyono.

The Democrat Party chairman, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, together with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and Golkar chairman Airlangga Hartarto, unequivocally endorsed Prabowo Subianto for President. During discussions with the Democrat Party, Chairman Yudhoyono emphasized, “We are confident that under Mr. Prabowo’s leadership, we can collaboratively forge a path towards a progressive Indonesia marked by both continuity and transformative change.”

Meanwhile, the Golkar Party chairman explained their support, stating, “Why has Golkar thrown its support behind Prabowo? The answer is clear: Lieutenant General Prabowo is fundamentally one of our own, having emerged from within the ranks of the Golkar Party. His active participation in our initiatives and his significant contributions to our causes are well documented and beyond dispute. This aligns perfectly with Golkar’s principles and objectives, affirming our support for Mr. Prabowo.”

The leaders of PSI (Indonesia Solidarity Party), chaired by Kaesang Pangarep; PBB (Crescent Star Party), chaired by Yusril Ihza Mahendra; and Gelora Party, chaired by Muhammad Anis Matta, all pledged full support for Prabowo Subianto to become president in 2024. In meetings, the chairman of PSI stated, “Indonesia Solidarity Party is ready to support Mr. Prabowo Subianto and Mr. Gibran Rakabuming Raka as the presidential and vice-presidential candidates for 2024.”

The Crescent Star Party (PBB) chairman shared his thoughtful decision-making process, stating, “I have carefully contemplated this choice for a long time. It was not merely a matter of simple logic but a comprehensive set of deliberations that brought me to this resolution: PBB must endorse Mr. Prabowo Subianto as the presidential candidate for the Republic of Indonesia.”

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Gelora Party conveyed their meticulous support, asserting, “The Gelora Party has rigorously evaluated its decision to support Mr. Prabowo as the presidential candidate for 2024.”

The presidential and vice-presidential candidates from the Forward Indonesia Coalition, Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka, were assigned number 2 for the 2024 presidential election, following a draw at the Open Plenary Meeting for the Drawing and Assignment of Candidate Numbers for the 2024 Election, held at the KPU building in Jakarta.