So that meeting that President-elect Joko Widodo and losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto had this morning apparently went pretty well.
It’s possible that Prabowo was just in an extremely good mood this morning because today is his birthday, or perhaps Jokowi just really turned on the charm, but whatever the case, it seems like the two found some common ground during their closed door meeting, which took place at Prabowo’s house in Kebayoran Baru and lasted under 30 minutes.
As reported in Detik.com, the two Indonesian political leaders seemed to be very at ease with each other after the meeting, joking and laughing back and forth.
After the meeting, during which Prabowo (finally) congratulated Jokowi on his victory, the ex-general was quoted as saying, “Jokowi is a patriot. I’m sure we want the same, which is to maintain the integrity of the Republic of Indonesia, Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, Unity in Diversity and the Homeland.”
More importantly, Prabowo said his Merah Putih Coalition would not not attempt to block and obstruct Jokowi’s governmental policies.
“I ask that the party I lead, along with my friends and my supporters, support Jokowi while he is leading the country,” said Prabowo.
But Prabowo added that the Merah Putih would also be watching to make sure Jokowi’s administration followed “the mandate of the people.”
“If what they are doing is not in accordance with the people’s will, we will criticize it,” Prabowo said.
The Gerindra chairman also said he would try to come to Jokowi’s inauguration on Monday, but said he wasn’t sure he could make it because he had to leave the country this weekend for unmentioned reasons.
But even if Prabowo can’t make it to the inauguration, Jokowi will probably see him at Hambalang (Prabowo’s main residence), where the ex-general told reporters Jokowi was invited for dinner and singing.
Jokowi agreed to come. “But about the singing, that I can’t do. I can’t sing,” said Jokowi with a laugh.
After some more remarks, Prabowo gave Jokowi a military style salute. Jokowi replied with a bow and they both shook hands. Before parting, some of the reporters in the crowd asked whether Jokowi had wished Prabowo a happy birthday. Jokowi said he had, as was confirmed by Prabowo who added, “Don’t ask about my age.”
While it’s totally possible that the good-natured back and forth between the two leaders could be nothing more than good political theater on Prabowo’s part, we’re naively optimistic that the two actually did come to some kind of understanding and the next five years won’t be a total political clusterf*ck.