×
2 Tuesday, April 16, 2019 08:58

In Indonesia, a Powerful Scion Seeks the Presidency by Railing Against the Rich

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Hammering a podium and railing against the rich and powerful, Prabowo Subianto, a former general now in the homestretch of Indonesia’s presidential campaign, whipped up the crowd of thousands.“I am sick and disgusted with the evil elites in Jakarta!” he bellowed, referring to the Indonesian capital as he harangued his troops like the general he once was.
“Disgusted! Always lie, lie, lie. Lie to the people!”A microphone went flying as he hit the podium with his open hand. The crowd, at a rally last week in Yogyakarta, about 250 miles southwest of the capital, roared its approval, and he struck it again. His supporters chanted, “Prabowo! Prabowo!”The message was a strange one, coming from the scion of one of Indonesia’s most powerful and politically connected families.
But making his fourth and perhaps final try for the presidency, and trailing in the polls by double digits, Mr. Prabowo, 67, is pulling out all the stops.The son of a Christian mother and the son-in-law of the former dictator Suharto, Mr. Prabowo has transformed himself this election cycle into a crusading populist and devout Muslim in a last-ditch effort to woo nationalists, hard-line Islamists and the large number of poor Indonesians who struggle to make a living.
Seemingly lost on many of Mr. Prabowo’s followers is that he was once a prime example of the elites he now attacks. Before Mr. Suharto’s ouster in 1998, the dictator plundered the country’s coffers to enrich himself and his family. As Mr. Suharto’s son-in-law and chief enforcer, Mr. Prabowo commanded the country’s feared Special Forces and acted with impunity to keep the regime in power.
For Indonesians, who go to the polls on Wednesday, the choice is whether to continue with the low-key, steady leadership of President Joko Widodo, 57, a former furniture manufacturer who was born in a slum, or Mr. Prabowo, a volatile ex-general who was dismissed from the army after ordering the kidnapping of political activists, and whose record on human rights earned him a yearslong ban on entering the United States.
Personality often prevails over ideology in Indonesian elections and the policy differences between the two candidates are not great. But with Mr. Prabowo’s courting of hard-line Islamists since his defeat in 2014, his victory would most likely mean advancing measures to promote Islam in daily life and greater military spending to rebuild the armed forces.
ImageA rally for Mr. Prabowo in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, this month. He was once a prime example of the elites he now attacks.CreditWilly Kurniawan/ReutersWinning the presidency would be a personal triumph for Mr. Prabowo and complete the remaking of his image. Mr. Prabowo has run for president in every national election since Mr.
. Suharto’s ouster in 1998.Mr. Joko, fortified by the power of incumbency since their last face-off, can point to numerous accomplishments over the past five years, including expanding health care for the poor and building.....
Full Story

News Code: 110830  |  New York Times
All news has been gathered by RoboNews Crawler

Related News

Latest World news

World

Qatar opens Gaza artificial limb and rehab centre

aljazeera
.
.
Khalifa al-Kuwari, director of the Qatar Fund for Development, cuts the ribbon during the opening ceremony [Adel Hana/AP] Qatar opened the first prosthetic hospital and a disabi...
Qatar opens Gaza artificial limb and rehab centre

Latest news pictures
  • Why Diversification Matters
  • Demand is so high for 'Avengers: Endgame' that many AMC theaters will open 24 hours a day all weekend
  • Sean Hannity knew about the famous Trump Tower meeting more than a week before it became public, according to the Mueller report
  • Sri Lanka attacks: Authorities face scrutiny over advance warnings
  • Facebook hires top State Department lawyer as general counsel
  • The cost of oil shoots above $65 a barrel as the White House vows to bring Iran exports to zero
  • The Best Competitors to Every First-Party Google App and Service
  • Speed Up Your PC With a 1TB SSD For Just $100
  • China's New Video Game Rules Officially Ban Blood, Corpses, Mahjong, and Poker
  • 8 Unanswered Questions From 'Game Of Thrones' Episode 2: 'A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms'
  • With Coachella Wrapped, Goldenvoice Heads West to Long Beach for Summer Festival Season
  • How Kelsey Lu Processed a Painful Past Into a Message of Hope on Her Debut Album 'Blood'
  • Kacey Musgraves Adds West Coast Dates to Oh, What A World: Tour II
  • Martin Garrix Teases Collab With Macklemore & Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump: Listen
  • Ariana Grande's 13 Most Unforgettable Tweets
  • Snake-Inspired Robot Slithers Fast
  • How Blindness Shapes Sound Processing
  • Defying the Laws of Physics? Bubbles of Sand
  • Jamie Carragher lambasts Manchester United display against Everton
  • Episode 35: Jack Johnson/ALO's Zach Gill & Son Volt's Jay Farrar
  • ‘KUWTK: The Most Unforgettable Sibling Fights The...
  • Dell Technologies extends systems integrator agreement with Cisco
  • Linux on DeX now supports the Galaxy S9, Galaxy Tab S5e, and Galaxy Note 8, and hints at upcoming Galaxy Tab S5 support
  • What Black Widow Could Learn From Thanos
  • Big Video Game Sale On Now at Amazon: Kingdom Hearts, RE2 and More
  • Bad News for Spotify? Amazon Launches Free Music Streaming Service
  • REI has a little-known section of its website that sells gently used gear and clothes for up to 70% off — here's how it works
  • A $2,000 bridal get-up, $100 of body glitter, and $30 thrift store discoveries: We asked 11 people how much their Coachella outfits cost, and here's what they told us
  • Here's exactly why experts recommend one type of life insurance over the other
  • Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde reveals La Liga demand before Liverpool clash
  • Qatar opens Gaza artificial limb and rehab centre
  • 'Just their shoes': Sri Lanka struggles to identify the dead
  • Your Corpse Is Likely Getting All Kinds of Fun New Options in Washington State
  • Blind People Really Do Have More Sensitive Hearing, MRI Study Finds
  • Meghan McCain's Explosive Feud with Joy Behar Continues on 'The View', Whoopi Goldberg Cuts to Commercial
  • Polyphonic Spree Announce #CareForTheCaravan Benefit for Migrants
  • Jamie Carragher lambastes Manchester United display against Everton
  • ‘Avengers: Endgame’: Why Fans Will Feel...
  • These Are the Rarest Animals in the World
  • Who Will Meet Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Baby First?