Indonesia's Ganjar & Anies consider forming coalition to compete with presidential frontrunner Prabowo in runoff

If the election proceeds to a second round.

Keyla Supharta | January 22, 2024, 03:45 PM

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Two of Indonesia's presidential candidates are considering the possibility of forming a coalition to compete against frontrunner Prabowo Subianto, should the 2024 presidential election move to the second round, CNN Indonesia reported.

"Everything is possible"

The idea of a coalition was first hinted at by former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo, speaking to the media Jan. 9, according to The Jakarta Post.

Journalists had asked Ganjar about the friendly exchange between former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan and a senior politician from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Puan Maharani, after the third live election debate on Sunday (Jan. 7).

Anies and Puan Maharani had apparently shaken hands. In response, Ganjar, the presidential candidate representing PDI-P, said that "everything is possible".

Officials from both camp met discreetly: Bloomberg

Officials supporting Anies and Ganjar have met discreetly several times to discuss the possibility of an alliance, Bloomberg reported, citing members of both camps who declined to be named.

Members of the two camps also explored ramping up campaigns in areas dominated by Prabowo to water down his votes and force the election to proceed to the second round.

In Indonesia's presidential election, if no candidate earns more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first round (and a certain percentage of the vote in various regions), the top two candidates will proceed to a second, runoff election.

Most opinion polls leading up to the election show Prabowo consistently helming the first place, while Ganjar and Anies compete for the second and third place.

Despite Prabowo's strong lead in election polls, the possibility of a runoff continues to loom, with a recent opinion poll showing that the defence minister has not secured more than 50 per cent of the vote required to win in a single round.

Endorse each other should there be a runoff

Plans of a coalition between Ganjar and Anies will only be finalised if the election proceeds to the next round, Bloomberg reported, citing people in both camps.

Under the alliance, Ganjar or Anies will endorse each other should there be a runoff election.

The discussions between members of both camps have reportedly progressed to the point where they are already discussing how to split the cabinet seats should either one get elected to be the next president.

Be patient

Anies declined to discuss any talks about forming a coalition when asked by Bloomberg, though he also did not reject the possibility.

"We are focused on Feb. 14. We want to get as much support as possible," the former Jakarta governor said.

Ganjar also did not confirm or deny plans for a coalition, asking everyone to be patient instead, CNN reported.

Stop Jokowi from expanding his political influence

While the alliance appears to be aimed towards Prabowo, it is really an attempt to stop President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo from expanding his political influence through his eldest son, who is Prabowo's running mate, members of Ganjar and Anies' political camp said.

While Jokowi has not publicly endorsed any candidate, with two of his sons in Prabowo's camp, it is arguable that Prabowo is his preferred successor, and not the candidate from his own party.

Less than a month from election

Indonesia is less than a month away from choosing its next leader, with more than 205 million voters electing their next president on Feb. 14, 2024.

The next leader will take the reins from Jokowi as he concludes his final term after nearly a decade in power.

If none of the presidential candidates secures more than half of the total votes, a second round of voting will take place in June.

Top image via Prabowo Subianto/Facebook and Ganjar Pranowo/Facebook.