Presidential Debate

Analyst points to Prabowo Subianto's strategy shift in recent debate

Analyst points to Prabowo Subianto's strategy shift in recent debate

University of Indonesia's (UI's) political analyst Vishnu Juwono.

Depok, W Java (ANTARA) - Presidential candidate number 02 Prabowo Subianto chose to adopt an offensive stance while squaring off against Incumbent President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in the fourth presidential debate, a University of Indonesia's (UI's) political analyst stated.

"Prabowo's choice to move away from his reconciliation approach that he had applied on a consistent basis in his two earlier debates with Jokowi to adopting an offensive one is a common move, taking into account the fact that he is in the opposition," Vishnu Juwono noted in his statement to ANTARA here on Monday.

While responding to how the two presidential candidates fared in their latest debate, Juwono, a renowned lecturer of UI's Administration Science Department, highlighted the fact that Subianto, being in the opposition, was essentially looking for loopholes in the government.

The strategy shift by Subianto, the incumbent president's opponent, in debating against Jokowi during the recent debate can also be perceived as an attempt to take to task the government over its policies in a bid to increase his support base, according to Juwono.

The Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pair believe that this new stance would erode Jokowi's electability. Several pollsters, have, in fact, pointed to the fact this pair's electability slipped behind that of the Jokowi-Ma'ruf Amin pair, he noted.

Subianto's endeavors to take the Jokowi government by the horns over its policies can partly be seen while the pairs clashed in the debate over matters relating to security and defence, as well as international relations, Jowono pointed out.

At the recent debate held at the Shangri-La Hotel, Central Jakarta, on Saturday evening (Mar 30), Subianto reiterated the point that Indonesia's defense capability was still "vulnerable and weak."

The presidential candidate number 02 was also vocal in his criticism that Indonesia was lagging behind in terms of its primary weaponry defense system (Alutsista), he stated.

Subianto was also quick at raising a finger at Jokowi over Indonesia's peace diplomacy and role in finding solutions to the human rights abuses targeting the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar if adequate defense capabilities were not in place to support Jakarta's efforts.

He viewed that Indonesia's low defense capability conciliates its bargaining stance while facing powerful states.

At the presidential debate that brought up issues concerning ideology, administration, defence, and security, as well as international relations, Jokowi and Subianto debated on ways to solve several existing problems.

Juwono cited as an example that in cases involving unjust promotion in bureaucracy, which elements of the bureaucratic reform programs needed improvement.

Another point worth noting were the kind of implications that the recent mass killings of Muslims in Chrischurch City, New Zealand, in which three Indonesians were also among those affected by the terror attack, have on the Indonesian foreign policy.

Jowono questioned in what way would Indonesia's defense-related policies respond to China's rise as a military power and its repercussions on most ASEAN members.

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