Indonesia Set for Last Major Rallies as Election Campaign Draws to Close
Supporter's board message for Ganjar Pranowo, PDI-P presidential candidate, and Mahfud MD at a campaign rally in Bogor, Indonesia, Feb 9, 2024.
Candidates will enter a cooling-off period on Sunday, leading up to the pivotal day on Feb. 14, marking the Indonesian presidential election. Three contenders vie to succeed the immensely popular President Joko Widodo, who, after a decade in office, is ineligible for re-election. The race unfolds between former governors Ganjar Pranowo and Anies Baswedan and ex-special forces commander Prabowo Subianto. Prabowo, buoyed by President Widodo's tacit support, emerges as a front-runner, with the president's son as his running mate.
This electoral contest in the world's third-largest democracy involves two former governors and a seasoned military figure. The G20 economy, rich in minerals and with a population of 270 million, positions itself as a future hub for multinational firms. Over 20,000 legislative and administrative positions, contested by 259,000 candidates, are at stake.
Ganjar seeks to consolidate support in Central Java, while Anies, an independent candidate and former Jakarta governor, stages his rally at the city's prominent stadium. Defense Minister Prabowo, eyeing his third consecutive election, leverages social media popularity to appeal to Indonesia's youthful electorate. The latest poll indicates Prabowo's lead, but a runoff looms if no candidate secures over 50%. Undecided voters may influence the outcome, potentially reshaping the presidential race dynamics. Analysts emphasize the significance of voter turnout, particularly for Prabowo's bid for an outright win.
Prabowo's rebranding, shedding a nationalist and temperamental image, positions him as a more genial figure, emphasizing continuity with President Widodo. The election outcome will determine Indonesia's leadership for the next five years, with ramifications for its global economic positioning.