Prabowo Subianto’s second defeat as a presidential candidate (or third, if you count Megawati Soekarnoputri’s defeat in 2009, when Prabowo was her running mate) was cemented last week when the Constitutional Court rejected his election fraud lawsuit seeking to overturn President Joko Widodo’s win. Despite that track record, those close to the Gerindra Party chairman say there is still a chance that he might run — yet again — in the 2024 presidential race.
“If people want Pak Prabowo in 2024, why not?” asked Gerindra spokesperson Andre Rosiade yesterday as quoted by Tempo.
One of the (many) reasons why people think Prabowo won’t/shouldn’t run again is because of his age — the former general will be 72 years old in 2024. But, according to Andre, his age shouldn’t be a factor. He pointed to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who won re-election in the neighboring nation’s historic election last year at the age of 92. He also noted that President Jokowi’s running mate, Ma’ruf Amin, is 76.
Prabowo and his brother, Hashim Djojohadikusumo, have both made comments previously indicating that another presidential run was a possibility, with Prabowo also referencing Mahathir’s advanced age and Hashim noting that Joe Biden, former US president Barack Obama’s vice president who is currently vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the 2020 race, is 76 years old.
However, Andre said it was too early to start speculating about the 2024 presidential race and acknowledged the possibility that Prabowo wouldn’t want to run, perhaps to open the door to younger candidates.
The 2024 election is indeed very far away, but that hasn’t stopped political analysts from speculating on who the potential contenders might be. The Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) recently released a list of 15 possible candidates who may vie for the country’s top office after President Jokowi’s second and last term is over. Notable names on that list include West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, Democratic Party member Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono), Finance Minister Sri Mulyani and Prabowo’s most recent running mate, Sandiaga Uno.
However, one could argue that Prabowo still has more electability than any of those candidates and, with President Joko Widodo unable to run again, he may be able to convince himself that 2024 is his last, best hope of finally fulfilling his “destiny” of leading the country.