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Is Prabowo Subianto fit to lead Indonesia? Surgery sparks health speculation

In an Instagram post on Sunday night, Prabowo, 72, revealed he had undergone a “major operation” related to an injury to his left leg sustained during parachuting incidents while he served in the military in the 1980s.

“I am aware and understand that the medical procedure I am undergoing is full of risks to my life, I assure you that all of this is for the State and Nation,” Prabowo wrote in the post.

“Thank God, 1 week ago, a team of doctors succeeded in carrying out medical treatment to restore the injury I had sustained. God willing, in the future, I will be even more prepared to serve the country and people of Indonesia,” he added.

Observers say rumours have circulated about the health of the upcoming leader, fuelled by concerns that he appeared less steady on his feet and looked tired while he campaigned for the presidency and in recent political forums.

According to Wasisto Raharjo Jati, a political analyst with the Jakarta-based National Research and Innovation Agency, Prabowo’s health issues have indeed been a major concern within political circles in recent months.

“But at the same time, he has tried to tackle this rumour by showing off his sporting activities such as swimming and riding a horse on his social media accounts,” Wasisto added.

The broader rumours around Prabowo’s health “reflect anxieties over his capacity to govern and what may happen if he is unable to,” said Ian Wilson, a senior fellow at the Indo-Pacific Research Centre at Murdoch University in Perth.

“This is exacerbated by the inexperience of the vice-president elect, who would, by default, become president in Prabowo’s absence,” he added.

If Prabowo is incapacitated or in some way unable to complete his five-year term, his running mate, incoming