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Prabowo expects to win Indonesian presidential vote

Indonesia's presidential candidates Ganjar Pranowo (L), Prabowo Subianto, and Anies Baswedan in Tangerang. AFP
Indonesia's presidential candidates Ganjar Pranowo (L), Prabowo Subianto, and Anies Baswedan in Tangerang. AFP

JAKARTA: Indonesia's leading presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto said he is confident of winning next week's election in a single round to lead the world's third largest democracy, Al Jazeera news channel reported on its website.

Prabowo, an ex-special forces commander, is one of three candidates contesting the February 14 election. A candidate needs a simple majority or more than 50 per cent of votes and at least 20 per cent of votes in over half the country's provinces to win. Barring this, a run-off between the top two candidates would be held in June.

Prabowo, 72, is projected by some opinion surveys to pip the 50 per cent threshold, though the chance of a second round lingers. His rivals, ex-Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan and ex-Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo, trail more than 20 points behind him.

"All the figures show that we will go in one round," Prabowo, currently defence minister, told Al Jazeera after a rally that attracted hundreds of thousands of supporters in the capital Jakarta on Saturday, the last day of campaigning.

He also defended running with outgoing President Joko Widodo's 36-year-old son, something made possible only in October, when a top court led by the president's brother-in-law tweaked eligibility criteria for vice presidential candidates.

"In Indonesia it has become some sort of an issue, not because he is under 40 but because he is the son of President Joko Widodo, which makes some circles feel bad. But that's politics. You cannot please everyone all the time," he said.

Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, has faced allegations of interfering to try to sway the outcome of the election by making highly publicised appearances with Prabowo.

Jokowi has responded that a president has the right to support any candidate, while saying he did not plan to campaign for anyone.

Indonesia's presidential election will be held on February 14, with three candidates battling to lead Southeast Asia's biggest economy and the third-largest democracy in the world.

The relocation of the archipelago's capital from Jakarta to Nusantara on Borneo island and the fight against corruption are two key issues to succeed President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo after a decade in power. - Reuters

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