To outside observers, the fluid and transitory nature of allegiances among Indonesia's political elites can seem puzzling. In the political cauldron of Jakarta, seemingly bitter rivals can emerge overnight as allies and old friends as foes.
Take the recent speculation that Prabowo Subianto, a rival to Joko Widodo in the 2014 presidential election, could emerge as his vice presidential running mate in next year's election. Prabowo has a checkered history in Indonesia, not least for his alleged involvement in human rights abuses as an army special forces commander during Indonesia's tumultuous democratic transition. Now Prabowo has resurrected himself as a wily political operator who, as leader of the Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), led an opposition coalition that mounted a highly effective -- if dirty -- campaign against Widodo in 2014.