President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has publicly welcomed old rival Prabowo Subianto of the Gerindra Party and his running mate Jakarta Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno into the 2019 presidential race.
The opposition coalition comprising Gerindra, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the National Mandate Party (PAN) announced it would support Prabowo and Sandiaga in the presidential race late on Thursday, only hours after Jokowi and running mate Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Ma’ruf Amin announced their bid. The Democratic Party announced its support for the Prabowo-Sandiaga pair on Friday.
“Congratulations,” Jokowi said on Friday. “[…] And just like us, they are determined to fight for our beloved nation.”
Jokowi made the remarks immediately after he and Ma’ruf registered their ticket at the General Elections Commission (KPU) on Friday, the last day of candidate registration.
Jokowi and Ma’ruf went to the KPU office together along with leaders of nine political parties in Jokowi’s coalition.
The President called on people to help create a smooth election and to refrain from conflict, saying that a democratic election was not a war, nor should it be filled with animosity.
“It is a competition of ideas, track records and achievements,” he said.
“Don’t let political differences ignite conflict among neighbors and communities […] because our biggest asset that must be maintained is the unity of the nation.”
Later on Friday, Prabowo and Sandiaga also officially registered for the 2019 presidential election with the KPU.