Anti-Jokowi activist and Muslim preacher Neno Warisman takes charge as a deputy chairwoman of the campaign team of presidential candidate pair Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno.
National Mandate Party (PAN) executive Yandri Susanto said the decision to include her on the campaign team was made by Prabowo, the Gerindra Party chairman and the only rival of incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
“In a meeting, which was attended by Prabowo last night [Tuesday evening], Neno said she accepted [the offer] to join the campaign team, and we decided to make her a deputy chairwoman,” Yandri told reporters at Prabowo’s residence on Jl. Kertanegara, South Jakarta, on Wednesday.
Neno, who was a famous singer in the 1990s, is one of the campaigners of the #2019GantiPresiden (#2019ChangePresident) movement, but previously did not mention support for a specific candidate.
Yandri said Neno and her supporters had now decided to support Prabowo-Sandiaga.
“Neno told us about the ups and downs in campaigning for the movement. And at the end, she has to make a stance. Last night, she told us that she’d join our coalition and get ready to be all-out to [help] Prabowo-Sandiaga win,” Yandri said.
Neno often cites Quranic verses to woo Muslim audience members.
During a rally in Medan, footage of which is available on YouTube, Neno called on her supporters to vote against Jokowi to prevent their children from “becoming homosexuals”. The movement smacks of sectarianism and is widely popular among voters with irrational fears of Jokowi.
Prabowo’s coalition is finalizing the list of its campaign team members, with hundreds of names, including a number of clerics and Muslim figures, expected to take part. Former Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Djoko Santoso has been appointed chairman of the campaign team.