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Indonesia 2024 Election: VP Candidate Bizarrely Frames “Anti-Nickel” as Supporting China

Vice presidential candidate Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Indonesian President Joko Widodo's son and current Surakarta City mayor, attends the last vice presidential election debate at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) in Jakarta on January 21, 2024. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

In Indonesia’s second vice presidential debate, Gibran Rakabuming — the eldest son of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate of Prabowo Subianto — tried to trap his rival Muhaimin Iskandar by asking the latter’s team’s campaign about lithium iron phosphate batteries (LFP), a nickel-free electric vehicle battery. 

“Are you anti-nickel?” Gibran asked. “Indonesia has the largest nickel reserve in the world, but you are talking about LFP instead. That is the same as promoting Chinese products.” 

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