V-P candidate Sandiaga ill after lengthy election campaign

Mr Sandiaga Uno posted on social media a photo of himself preparing to have his blood drawn by a male nurse. He said he had been working over eight months to engage the community.
Mr Sandiaga Uno posted on social media a photo of himself preparing to have his blood drawn by a male nurse. He said he had been working over eight months to engage the community.PHOTO: TWITTER/TWITTER.COM/SANDIUNO

His exertions on the election campaign trail have finally taken a toll on his body and he is now ill, said vice-presidential hopeful Sandiaga Uno.

"When the body no longer wants to be compromised after eight months of engaging the community without adequate rest," he wrote on social media, along with a photo of himself preparing to have his blood drawn by a male nurse.

"I want to say thank you so much to all the people who prayed for me and offered their support. Don't be discouraged, we continue to fight for justice."

His post yesterday came amid widespread speculation over how he was conspicuously absent from the side of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto after polls closed last Wednesday afternoon.

Rumours persisted of a rift between him and Mr Prabowo following unofficial counts indicating that they had lost the election to incumbent Joko Widodo despite a brief appearance by Mr Sandiaga alongside the former general at a press conference in South Jakarta last Thursday.

Members of the coalition behind the Prabowo-Sandiaga ticket and campaign officials tried to put such speculation to rest, saying Mr Sandiaga was exhausted after a long election season.

BENT BUT NOT BROKEN

When the body no longer wants to be compromised after eight months of engaging the community without adequate rest... I want to say thank you so much to all the people who prayed for me and offered their support. Don't be discouraged, we continue to fight for justice.

MR SANDIAGA UNO, writing on social media.

Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Sohibul Iman told reporters last Friday that Mr Sandiaga had a bad case of the flu.

The PKS is one of five parties that nominated the Prabowo-Sandiaga presidential ticket.

"He has gone to the doctor to get a check-up," Mr Sohibul was quoted as saying by news site Beritasatu.com. "I told him to get proper rest, and that he didn't need to take part in our activities today."

Last Friday, Mr Prabowo performed noon prayers at Al-Azhar mosque, near his South Jakarta home, and was at a mass gathering to mark the end of the peaceful elections.

Mr Sandiaga did not attend either event, but posted a photo of himself and his son performing Friday prayers at home. He wrote a post later to say he had been advised by his doctor to rest.

Many had said during the long campaign that Mr Sandiaga was probably only second to Mr Joko in terms of visibility and work rate when it came to engaging voters on the ground.

A rising star in Indonesian politics who polled well with women and young voters, Mr Sandiaga had hit the campaign trail hard ever since Mr Prabowo, 67, announced the 49-year-old billionaire as his running mate last August.

Francis Chan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 21, 2019, with the headline 'V-P candidate Sandiaga ill after lengthy election campaign'. Print Edition | Subscribe