Prabowo vows to fight for all Indonesians, calls for unity among political elites

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 1:07 AM

By Ananda Teresia

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia president-elect Prabowo Subianto on Wednesday vowed to fight for all Indonesians and called for unity among political elites to take the country forward, as he seeks to strengthen his parliamentary clout ahead of taking office in October.

Speaking at a ceremony where he was being confirmed as the winner of the Feb. 14 election, Prabowo, who won by a huge margin, said he was talking to elites in the country and it was vital parties could get along together for the common good.

Prabowo, who was tacitly backed by popular incumbent Joko Widodo, is seeking to broaden his coalition in the new parliament and is in talks with parties who backed his election rivals.

“I will prove that I will fight for all Indonesians, including those who did not vote for me,” Prabowo said.

“If Indonesia wants to survive, becoming a prosperous country, all elites must work together. If we dare to leave our differences aside, let’s leave our feelings, let’s find our love for the country, let’s sacrifice together for our people.”

The confirmation comes two days after the Constitutional Court rejected challenges from both losing candidates seeking a re-run of the presidential election and the disqualification of Prabowo and his running mate, ending all election disputes.

In his speech, Prabowo vowed to end poverty and corruption, adding he intends to bring improvement to all Indonesians.

He also said a free press was vital in Indonesia, describing it as “the absolute requirement for democracy”.

Defence Minister’s Prabowo’s current alliance comprises 48% of seats in the parliament but his seniors aides have said that he aims to expand his coalition to secure a majority of seats.

(Reporting by Ananda Teresia; Editing by Martin Petty)