Ezra Sihite & Markus Junianto Sihaloho
The founder of the Great Indonesia Movement Party, Prabowo Subianto, has taken to Twitter to get a better grasp of the public’s sentiment toward him running for the presidency in 2014.
Ahmad Muzani, secretary general of the party known as Gerindra, said Prabowo handled the Twitter account himself and read the comments that came in through the account @Prabowo08.
“Yes, that’s Pak Prabowo’s Twitter [account] and he accesses it every day,” Muzani said on Wednesday.
He said that Prabowo read every comment that mentioned his name, although he did not reply to all of them.
“He pays attention to all [comments], from hatred to compliments,” he said.
Muzani said that Gerindra hoped to garner criticism and input about what the public wanted.
“The Twitter account can be accessed not only by the central executives but also branch officials,” he said.
Asked to comment on Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting’s recent survey, which placed Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri as the most popular presidential candidate ahead of Prabowo, Muzani attributed it to her frequent public appearance.
“If Prabowo’s popularity is below Megawati and Jusuf Kalla, I guess that’s understandable because both of them were once a president and vice president, while Prabowo wasn’t. He also never served as a minister,” said Muzani.
He added that Prabowo’s electability had nothing to do with popularity but was because the public was able to absorb his ideas effectively.
“It is high because the people are convinced by his ideas,” Muzani said. “This is where Prabowo excels.”