BANJARMASIN, KOMPAS.com - Retired army general-turned-politician Prabowo Subianto affirmed here on Monday he intends to run for president in 2014.
"Yes, God willing, I will again join the presidential race," he said before dedicating the secretariat of the South Kalimantan regional chapter of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party here on Monday evening. He took part in the 2009 presidential election as Megawati Soekarnoputri’s running mate.
The former chief of the Army’s Special Force (Kopassus) said he had decided to run for president because he believed there was growing support from Gerindra and other parties for him to do so.
"In the 2009 general elections, Gerindra emerged as one of the big nine political parties in Indonesia, yet it was then only a newcomer," he said.
Another reason for his decision, he said, was that people now increasingly craved prosperity and self-reliance while Gerindra had in the past 3.5 years always remained consistent with its commitment to improve the people’s welfare.
The retired three-star general said he was optimistic that endowed with enormous natural resources, Indonesia would be able to make rapid progress and raise its welfare standards without having to remain the servants of other nations. Therefore, he said, he would call on the people to vote for candidates who would really fight for their welfare.
"So, beware of the so-called ’dawn attacks’, namely offers of Rp100,000 cash handouts ahead of voting day. Do not allow yourselves to suffer over the next five years in exchange for a mere Rp100,000 cash handout," he warned.
Prabowo who is chief patron of Gerindra Party came to South Kalimantan along with Gerindra chairman Prof Dr. Ir Suhardi Msc to install the executive board of the party’s provincial chapter led by H Abidin H.H.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is under the law not permitted to participate in the 2014 presidential race because he has been in office for two terms. Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie also plans to run for the presidency in 2014.