Indonesia presidential candidate Prabowo cements lead in polls after televised debates

Indonesia’s Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto cemented his lead in polls of candidates running for president after televised debates ahead of the looming Feb 14 elections. A Dec 23-24 poll released by Indikator Politik Indonesia on Dec 26 revealed Mr Prabowo, who is collaborating with President Joko Widodo’s 36-year-old son Gibran Rakabuming Raka, would save 46.7 per cent of the vote. Indikator placed previous  Central Java ruler Ganjar Pranowo as his closest opponent, with 24.5 per cent of the vote, whilst previous  Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan had the support of 21 per cent of those polled.

A poll by Kompas in December gave Mr Prabowo 39.3 per cent of the vote and placed Mr Anies as his closest opponent with 16.7 per cent, followed by Mr Ganjar with 15.3 per cent. Indikator’s survey was conducted after televised debates among the presidential candidates on Dec 12 and candidates for vice-president on Dec 22. A decision by Indonesia’s constitutional court in October paved the way for Mr Gibran to run in the elections, leading to widespread concern about the strengthening of dynastic politics in the world’s third-hugest democracy. During the televised debate, Mr Gibran defended his father’s economic agenda, specifically the growth of the new capital city.Three more debates are anticipated to happen before the election takes place.