JAKARTA Reuters Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, an ex-special forces general, accepted Friday his party's nomination to run in the 2024 presidential election.
Prabowo, one of Indonesia's most divisive politicians, said he would make a third bid for the top job after receiving widespread support from party members.
I accept the invitation to be nominated as the Presidential candidate for the Republic of Indonesia, and tell thousands of party members who clapped and chanted his name.
Prabowo, the ex son-in- law of the late strongman ruler Suharto, was a rising star in the military until his dismissal from service in the late 1990s amid allegations of rights violations related to the kidnapping of student activists. Prabowo has never denied involvement, and the allegations were never proven.
In the middle of his acceptance speech, Prabowo played a film clip that he said was about colonial times, including graphic scenes of executions of Indonesians. He wanted to remind party members that he would fight for the ideals of Indonesia's national founders.
With the current president Joko Jokowi Widodo being barred from running for a third term, speculation is already rife about who will lead Southeast Asia's largest economy.
Prabowo, 70, is among the top three potential candidates, along with Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, and Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, according to polling in recent months.
Prabowo should step aside after losing to Jokowi in both the 2014 and 2019 elections, according to some commentators.