Monday, June 17, 2024 | 15:23 WIB

New developments may impel President Biden to decide not to run for re-election

Jakarta, IO – It looks that President Biden may abort his decision to run for re-election, as a result of recent developments. Congress just passed a bill to formalize his impeachment. The voting was along Party lines, and the majority is in the hands of the GOP. 

This is not to say that Congress just found proof beyond a reasonable doubt that President Biden should be impeached, let alone that he is guilty of anything impeachable. It was alleged that the accusation was against him, when he was Vice President under President Obama, that he knew of his son Hunter Biden’s business in a Ukraine state-owned oil company, and that he personally benefited from the deal. Hunter Biden protested this decision, saying that this was just to embarrass his father. He claims that his father did not know anything about his business in Ukraine. 

On the contrary, a reverse development arose for former President Trump. Jack Smith, the Special Counsel for his case, proposed to bring the case of immunity of the former President to the Supreme Court to decide, short-cutting the Appellate Court. And while this is in progress, all the court sessions against the former President must pause, whether the Manhattan Court on the tax fraud count, or the DC Court, regarding the January 6 insurrection, or the Georgia Courton the obstruction of the electoral process. 

J. Soedradjad Djiwandono
J. Soedradjad Djiwandono, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia, and Adjunct Professor of International Economics, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

I do not pretend to know exactly what is the legal meaning of all these matters, but it sounds like giving a break for the former President on his legal problems, so that he might spend time on his election effort. And he immediately took the opportunity to address voters, prior to the Ohio Caucus. He made a statement in one of the rallies that he needed a big margin to win there. The CNN poll seemed to confirm this: he led big against Ambassador Haley and Governor DeSantis for the nomination as the GOP Candidate. So, President Biden previously stated that if former President Trump is not running, he may want to drop his own bid. But now, with Trump seemingly sure as the GOP Candidate, he may pick up the fight again, despite the Congressional impeachment inquiry and Hunter Biden’s legal problems. 

I certainly hope so, and I hope he will beat former President Trump again, and silence him for good. I am still convinced that his age does not imply any problem for President Biden to finish a second term. And I see that the Ukraine problem, and hopefully even the Middle East problems, could be solved for good, with his active participation in the effort for a solution. 

The world would also benefit from this kind of situation, rather than a possible chaotic situation due to the antics of President Trump in a second Presidency, which promises a retreat from globalization and a move to isolationism with his dream of “Make America Great Again” (MAGA), a trade war, and increasing uncertainties in geopolitics and economy, something that no country likes to see. 

What will happen with our own elections? It seems that the process has gone forward well so far, and hopefully so for the next stage, up to the open campaign period, the voting day as well as the counting of ballots. 

We had reports from polling conducted after the first debate last December 12. Candidates Prabowo-Gibran led the others with a sufficiently big difference, where Prabowo-Gibran accumulated between 42 to 45 percent, and the other two lagged far behind, at around twenty percent. Candidate Prabowo Subianto reminded his supporters that we cannot take this for granted, stop working hard and or make a blunder. 

Read: The 2024 Palm Oil-Based Economic Prospects

Instead, he asked everyone to be working even harder to gain ten percent more, to guarantee a win in one round. This is certainly a big challenge for all the cadres, but is the only guarantee to really win, enabling us to celebrate a victory lap. The next debate will be on issues of the economy and programs. Let us just wait for the day, and we will see the result of whether the winner in the first debate will continue to hold the lead or will there be some change? We have to wait patiently, with hope for a peaceful and orderly campaign process, both indoor and in the open, a few days of quiet, the actual balloting on February 14, 2024, and the ballot count the day after. We are all a nation of proud and mature people; with God’s grace we will be able to act accordingly, exercising the most important, even sacred constitutional right to vote for our Legislators, President and Vice Presidential Candidates, INSYA Allah.