Indonesia announces candidates for presidential election

The country heads to the polls on February 14 to vote for the next president.

Joko Widodo
Joko Widodo casts his ballot during the presidential election in April 2019 in Jakarta [File: Edgar Su/AP Photo]

Indonesia’s election commission (KPU) has announced the three candidates who will run to succeed President Joko Widodo as head of the world’s third-largest democracy in next year’s presidential election.

“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 news conference on Monday.

Up to 205 million people will head to the polls on February 14 to vote for one of the candidates, confirmed after a series of eligibility and health screening checks, vying to be the Muslim-majority country’s next president.

Subianto, 72, has opened up a wide lead over his closest rival in opinion polls, despite controversy over his decision to pick Widodo’s son as his running mate.

A survey of 1,220 people, from October 27 to November 1 and released on Sunday by Indikator Politik Indonesia, showed 39.7 percent of respondents would vote for third-time presidential contender Subianto, while 30 percent would back the governing party’s Ganjar Pranowo.

Raka, the 36-year-old mayor of Surakarta city, was allowed to become Subianto’s running mate after the candidature of Chief Justice Anwar Usman, who is Widodo’s brother-in-law, was disqualified over an ethics violation.

The ruling regarding Raka meant a change in the country’s rules to allow candidates below 40 years of age to run in the presidential election 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 October 2024, the elections commission said.

Source: News Agencies