Election campaigns end, ballot looming in Indonesia

Indonesia is bracing for the national election day scheduled for next Wednesday to choose leader of the country and new parliament members.

1 min read
A girl gestures during the last day campaign of the presidential candidate Anies Baswedan and running mate Muhaimin Iskandar at the Jakarta International Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, Feb. 10, 2024. (Xinhua/Zulkarnain)

Presidential campaigns in Indonesia ended peacefully on Saturday, as the country is bracing for the national election day scheduled for next Wednesday to choose leader of the country and new parliament members.

During the months-long campaigns which started November last year, three pairs of president and vice president candidates held their respective campaigns in three different locations.

Prabowo Subianto, who runs with Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the eldest son of President Joko Widodo, embraced his supporters at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium in central Jakarta. Local news agencies reported that the campaign was attended by half a million people.

Muhammad Nafia, 22, traveled from Bandung in West Java to participate in the rally. “I want to involve myself in this big political moment,” he told Xinhua.

This was the third time for Subianto to contest in the presidency after previously losing to Widodo in 2014 and 2019 elections.

Among all candidates, Subianto came as the one who pledged that he would continue Widodo’s efforts to develop downstream industries and New Capital City project.

Anies Baswedan and his running mate Muhaimin Iskandar held their last campaign at the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) in north Jakarta which has a capacity of 82,000 people. Annisa Nur Maulida was among the crowd with her husband. The citizen of Depok, West Java, said she arrived at the stadium on Tuesday night, hoping to avoid traffic jam in the morning.

“I want to get a place at the very front and see them up close,” she said.

Baswedan is the former governor of Jakarta, while Iskandar is the chairman of the National Awakening Party, which has a strong historical connection with the country’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).

Ganjar Pranowo held a major campaign in Pancasila Field in Semarang, Central Java province. The province is widely known as Pranowo’s traditional base and the region he previously led as a governor.

He runs with Mohammad Mahfud Mahmodin, commonly known as Mahfud MD, who has resigned from his post as Indonesia’s coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs.

Each of the big campaign rallies was attended by tens of thousands of supporters packing the locations. In total, no less than 9,000 police officers were deployed for security order.

In the campaigns, the three presidential hopefuls and their running mates had actively visited areas across the country to attract potential voters. Based on data from Indonesia’s General Elections Commission, there are more than 200 million eligible voters across the country’s 98 cities and 416 regencies, in addition to 130 cities abroad that facilitate the polls for overseas Indonesians. From the total voters, 114 million or almost 60 percent are young voters (aged 20-35 years).

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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