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President Joko Widodo meets with Prabowo Subianto at Bogor Palace

JAKARTA ( – As Indonesians eyes are closely monitoring the dispute between the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK) and National Police, President Joko Widodo meets with his competitor during last presidential election Prabowo Subianto at Bogor Palace, West Java.

After a brief meeting, both held a joint press conference. “I personally expressed my commitment to support our concerted efforts. He, (Joko Widodo) as the government and we, outside government jointly develop the nation, guarding the unity of the nation and eradicate the poverty,” Prabowo told reporters.

Some speculate that Joko Widodo was flirting with the “opposition” in a move to get backing for his government, if Joko Widodo’s relation with his supporting parties – the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), National Democratic Party (Nasdem) and few others – turned their back.

The political crisis in Indonesia in the last two weeks after the sole candidate for the National Police Chief Budi Gunawan (BG) was declared as a suspect by KPK in relation to his irregular transactions in his bank account, one day before BG held a fit and proper test at the House. Interestingly, the House endorsed Budi Gunawan as the National Police Chief, sparking national protests.

Budi Gunawan himself rejected to bow down. On the other hand, the Joko Widodo’s supporting parties led by PDIP and Nasdem insisted the President to go ahead inaugurating Budi Gunawan as National Police Chief.

As the debate heats up, the Criminal Investigation Department of the National Police (Bareskrim) arrested KPK deputy chief Bambang Widjojanto, triggering massive protests in the public, including in social media. As the crisis deepened, President Joko Widodo tried to ease the tension by inviting both police and KPK at Bogor Palace. Later in the night, Bambang Widjojanto was released, but his status remained as a suspect by the Police. Police accused Widjojanto to be implicated in a corruption in a regional election in Kalimantan prior to his appointment as KPK deputy chairman.

President Joko Widodo was trapped, whether to inaugurate Budi Gunawan as Police Chief or not. The President has delayed the inauguration, which is viewed by political observers as a move by the President to buy time, while finding the way out.

Few days ago, the President has formed an independent team to give him advice on the situation. Some media reported that Joko Widodo’s relation with his political party supporters worsened. On the other hand, some observers called on Joko Widodo to put the interest of the nation as priority, not political parties. The public also called on Widodo’s political parties not to meddle too much. It is a catch twenty situation for Joko Widodo.

As the status of the Budi Gunawan is still unclear, Prabowo paid courtesy call to President Joko Widodo at the Bogor Palace, about 55 kilometers to the south of Jakarta. Prabowo, meanwhile, eased the public’s wild speculation. He only said that he met Jokowi, the President’s popular name, for informal meeting to maintain good relationship. After President Joko Widodo was officially declared as the President, Widodo visited Prabowo’s house.

“So, it is my turn to visit him. As we are living in the eastern culture, we need to preserve our tradition. I asked him to receive me at his official office as President,” Prabowo said.

As part of giving support to the President, Prabowo also conveyed a message to the President that his position as the President of World Pencak Silat Federation has been extended. Prabowo said Indonesia has become the champion in recent World Pencak Silat Tournament. (*)

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