1707926975 General Prabowo Subianto accused of human rights abuses is declared

General Prabowo Subianto, accused of human rights abuses, is declared winner of Indonesian elections | International

General Prabowo Subianto accused of human rights abuses is declared

Indonesia is preparing for 72-year-old Prabowo Subianto to replace Joko Widodo as president of the country, the world's third-largest democracy. Everything indicates that Southeast Asia's premier economy has chosen to continue the legacy of Widodo (nicknamed Jokowi) with his rival in the 2014 and 2019 elections over the next five years. Prabowo, the current defense minister, had presented himself as the candidate who would inherit the policies of the popular incumbent president, who could not run for re-election after the expiration of the maximum two-term term. To complete the formula and win the majority of the nearly 205 million voters, Prabowo chose Jokowi's eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, as his vice president, running for vice president at just 36 years old. The election winner was accused of human rights violations in the late 1990s.

Amid dancing and confetti, Prabowo declared himself the winner based on unofficial counts by Indonesian election agencies that showed him winning with 57% to 59% of the vote. Their opponents Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo have not yet suffered a defeat. Although Prabowo has called for “calmness” until the electoral commission officially announces the winner, he declared in his speech that it was “a victory for the entire Indonesian people.” The quick recounts are based on the actual vote count at a sample of polling stations across Indonesia. The official election may take up to a month, but these calculations have provided an accurate idea of ​​the results of the four presidential elections held in the country directly and through universal suffrage (2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019).

Prabowo has been leading in all polls since the start of the campaign, capitalizing on the recognition he already had for running twice in presidential elections. To this he added a letter that he did not have before: the express support of Jokowi. Prabowo, known for his passionate nationalism and strong temper, has shaped that image in recent months to show his more affable and charismatic side. She has shown her everyday life and that of her cat Bobby on Instagram, and her clumsy dances on TikTok have gone viral. His large online presence in a country where 60% of voters get their information through social networks (according to CSIS data) helped him win a vote that was crucial in this case: that of young people. For the first time, more than half of those eligible to vote (52%) were under 40 years old.

But despite the outpouring of support, the Prabowo-Gibran tandem was not without controversy. The former general was accused of serious human rights violations in the late 1990s, which cost him his dismissal from the army and exile to Jordan in 1998. The candidacy of Jokowi's first-born son would have been invalid. without the Constitutional Court – chaired by his uncle – ruling in October that people under 40 can run for president or vice-president if they have previously held public office, as in the case of Gibran, who was previously mayor of Surakarta. “A few months ago I was a nobody. Now Prabowo and I are here,” said Gibran as he celebrated the victory in Jakarta with the election winner. “I would like to thank Prabowo for offering a young person like me to be part of the journey to building a golden Indonesia,” he added.

Some critics accused Widodo of trying to exert influence and build a political dynasty after leaving Merdeka Palace, even though he was the first president to come to power without the political or military since the end of the Suharto dictatorship Belonging to the elite 1998.

However, Ben Bland, director of the Asia-Pacific program at Catham House, believes it is “unlikely” that Prabowo's victory will pose an existential threat to the country, as he wrote in a recent article published in Foreign Affairs. Bland points out that the country has mechanisms in place to limit presidential power, such as a decentralized system of government as well as a vibrant civil society and independent media. He also stressed that “Jokowi’s successor will be under enormous pressure to live up to his record.” [que deja el presidente saliente]“. In the latest survey by Jakarta-based pollster Indicator Politics, 80% of Indonesians were satisfied with Jokowi's leadership.

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A decade of growth and modernization

Joko Widodo's decade (62 years) in power was marked by rapid economic growth and modernization of the country, driven by measures to attract foreign investment and infrastructure improvements. Indonesia has the world's largest reserves of nickel, an essential material for making electric vehicles, solar panels and other key products for the green transition, which have attracted industry leaders such as China's CATL and South Korea's LG and Hyunday. The Indonesian economy has also benefited from rising raw material prices in recent years, as the country is the largest producer of palm oil and one of the largest exporters of coal, oil, gas, rubber and tin, among other things. Another resource.

The Indonesian electorate's enthusiasm for Prabowo reflects the belief that the new president will be the guarantor of that legacy. In his election campaign, Prabowo announced that he would continue Jokowi's major infrastructure projects as well as a plan to move the capital from congested, polluted and increasingly sinking Jakarta to Nusantara, an entirely new city still under construction on the tropical island of Borneo . Prabowo has also promised that he will try to integrate Indonesia into the electric vehicle value chain by using the country's vast nickel and cobalt reserves and restricting their exports to attract more foreign companies to invest on Indonesian soil.

Regarding foreign policy, the new president indicated in several interviews during the election campaign that Indonesia would continue to “respect all countries and major powers.” “We want to maintain good relationships with everyone. We don't want to join one bloc and be against another. Our position is unique. We are friends from all over the world. “In any conflict or competition, we are the ones who are accepted by all parties,” he told Al Jazeera a few weeks ago.

Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world with more than 275 million people, 90% of whom are Muslim, making it the country with the largest Muslim population on the planet. Its strategic location in Southeast Asia – with a vast archipelago of 17,000 islands stretching between the Indian and Pacific Oceans – and its economy – the first in the region, aiming to become the world's fourth largest by 2045 – gave them good chance of positioning itself to play a key role in the increasingly strained relations between China and the United States, with which it is flirting.

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