WHY PRABOWO PICKED GIBRAN
At 72, Mr Subianto has had a long military and political career.
However, Mr Raka is still in his early days as a politician, having been Solo’s mayor only since February 2021.
Before that, he was an entrepreneur setting up various mobile applications and startups.
“Prabowo needs to get the absolute endorsement from Jokowi to win,” said political analyst Mr Wawan Mas’udi, referring to Mr Widodo by his nickname.
“To get that, the best way is to take the closest figure who best represents Jokowi, in this context, Gibran especially since he can now run,” added the dean of Yogyakarta’s University of Gadjah Mada’s social and politics faculty.
Analysts say another reason for choosing Mr Raka is that more than half of the eligible 204.8 million voters are young, between 17, the legal voting age, to 42 years old.
“As a young person, it is expected that Mr Raka can gain the votes of young people or first-time voters,” said Mr Ujang Komarudin, a political analyst from the University of Al Azhar Indonesia.
“And I think he will gain the attention of youngsters and gain their support because young people need to be approached by a young person who understands their language.”
While Mr Subianto chose Mr Raka to gain the votes of Jokowi’s massive followers, the incumbent president has equal stakes, added Mr Mas’udi.
He believes Jokowi wants to protect his legacy, and Mr Subianto can guarantee that he will continue Jokowi’s programmes.
“There are many national strategic programmes that have yet to be completed, and Jokowi needs a guarantee they will be completed, and Mr Subianto can give this guarantee.
“Although in the current context, this is unhealthy and corrosive for the democracy we are building because there are actually other VP options for Prabowo,” said Mr Mas’udi.
Mr Mas’udi pointed out that other names were being touted as a possible running mate for Mr Subianto, such as Minister of State-owned Enterprises Erick Thohir and East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa.
According to pollster Lembaga Survei Indonesia (LSI), Mr Subianto’s electability would be higher if paired with Mr Thohir compared to Mr Raka or Mdm Parawansa.
But the second biggest political party, Golkar, which is in one coalition with Mr Subianto’s party Gerindra, rejected the pairing of those two.
Mr Raka was the only person whom every political party in Gerindra’s coalition agreed on, noted Mr Mas’udi.
On Sunday morning, hours before the announcement, Jokowi told reporters he gave his son his blessings to contest.
“A parent’s job is to pray for their children and give their blessings,” he told reporters when asked whether he agrees that his son should run.