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Indonesia election commission confirms presidential candidates

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Indonesia election commission confirms presidential candidates

Three candidates are running for the presidency of the Muslim-majority nation in the February election: former special forces general and defence minister Prabowo Subianto, against former governors of Central Java Ganjar Pranowo and Jakarta Anies Baswedan

FP Staff November 13, 2023 16:09:01 IST Indonesia election commission confirms presidential candidates

Three candidates are fighting to succeed incumbent President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, who is serving the maximum two terms permitted by the constitution. Reuters

The candidates for next year’s presidential election, which is scheduled to select the country’s third-largest democracy’s leader to replace outgoing leader Joko Widodo, were revealed by the election commission of Indonesia on Monday.

Three candidates are running for the presidency of the Muslim-majority nation in the February election: former special forces general and defence minister Prabowo Subianto, against former governors of Central Java Ganjar Pranowo and Jakarta Anies Baswedan.

On February 14, around 205 million individuals are eligible to cast their votes. The victor will take over as president of Southeast Asia’s largest economy after Widodo serves the maximum two terms.

The country’s General Elections Commission (KPU) said the three registered candidates were all confirmed for the vote after a series of eligibility and health screening checks, an announcement that marked the start of election season.

“Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar, Ganjar Pranowo and Mahfud MD, Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka have been declared eligible as presidential and vice-presidential candidate pairs for the simultaneous elections in 2024,” KPU commissioner Idham Holik told a press conference.

Subianto, 72, is increasing his margin of popularity over closest rival Pranowo, according to a poll published Sunday by Indikator Politik Indonesia.

The third-time presidential candidate is now favoured by 39.7 percent of voters to 30 percent for Pranowo, the poll showed, compared to 36.1 to 33.7 last month.

The vote has already been mired in controversy after a judicial panel dismissed the country’s top judge Chief Justice Anwar Usman, who is Widodo’s brother-in-law, after finding him guilty of an ethics violation over a ruling that allowed Widodo’s son to run for vice president.

Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the 36-year-old mayor of Surakarta city, was allowed to become Subianto’s running mate after Usman’s ruling that changed the rules to allow candidates under 40 years of age to run if they have held a regional position.

Widodo’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has chosen Pranowo — who was initially touted as the favourite — as its candidate. He has picked chief security minister Mahfud as his running mate.

The third challenger Baswedan is favoured by conservative Muslims and Islamist groups. He chose Iskandar, the chairman of the Islamist National Awakening Party (PKB), as his running mate.

The official campaign period starts on November 28 but the presidential hopefuls have already embarked on nationwide tours seeking support from voters.

The next president will be sworn in next October, the elections commission said.

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