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Indonesia set to open registration for presidential hopefuls

The 2024 Indonesian presidential election is approaching, featuring candidates like Prabowo Subianto, Ganjar Pranowo, and Anies Baswedan, vying to succeed President Joko Widodo in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

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JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Indonesia will open registration for presidential candidates running in the 2024 general election on Thursday, with the nation’s current defence minister and two former governors vying to succeed Joko Widodo.

More than 204 million eligible voters are expected to cast their ballot on 14 February 2024, to elect the next president of Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

The winner will take over from Widodo after two terms in office, since his first election in 2014.

Indonesians will also vote for lawmakers and regional leaders on the same day.

Several prominent political names have emerged as strong presidential contenders.

Former general and current defence minister Prabowo Subianto has accepted the nomination from his political party, Gerindra.

It will be his third time running for president, after Subianto lost to Widodo in the last two elections.

Widodo’s party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), has selected Ganjar Pranowo, the former governor of Central Java, as its presidential contender.

Pranowo is often compared to Widodo as both did not come from an elite family and portray themselves as down-to-earth politicians.

A third candidate is former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan who secured his nomination with the backing of the National Democratic Party (Nasdem), and also has been endorsed by two other parties.

Baswedan, who is a former cabinet minister, is favoured by conservative Muslims and Islamist groups.

While the official campaign period does not start until 28  November, the presidential hopefuls have begun touring the country to seek voter support.

In the run-up to the election, the Constitutional Court issued a controversial ruling this week which allows candidates under 40 years old to be nominated for president or vice president if they have previously been elected to public office.

Critics say the decision was made to pave the way for Widodo’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, to join the race at the age of 36, potentially as a running mate to Subianto. Raka is the current mayor of Surakarta City.

Candidate registration is open till 25 October, and the next president will be sworn in next October, the elections commission said.

— AFP

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