Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Indonesian election campaign kicks off

04 June 2014, 13:11

Jakarta - Campaigning for next month's presidential election in Indonesia officially began on Wednesday, pitting a popular Jakarta governor against a former special forces commander.

Indonesians will go to the polls on 9 July to choose between governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, the candidate of the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-Perjuangan), and former general Prabowo Subianto, who has the backing of four other political parties.

Opinion polls suggest that 52-year-old Joko is the favourite, but there are indications that Prabowo, aged 62, the former son-in-law of the late Indonesian strongman Suharto, is narrowing the gap.

The two candidates signed a clean campaign pledge late on Tuesday. "We are determined to engage in a clean and peaceful campaign," said Prabowo, the founder of the Great Indonesia Party (Gerindra).

"We will not do things that are detrimental to the people," he added. Prabowo picked former economic minister Hatta Rajasa as his running mate, while Joko is teaming up with former vice president Jusuf Kalla.

Smear campaigns

Prabowo has a controversial military record. He was accused of human rights abuses, including in East Timor, which Indonesia occupied until 1999.

He accepted responsibility for the kidnappings of dissidents during the last days of Suharto's 32-year rule in 1998, and was discharged from military service the same year.

Joko won the Jakarta gubernatorial election in 2012 and has since built a reputation as a capable leader with a common touch, helped by his visits to the capital's poor neighbourhoods.

Even before the official campaign started, smear campaigns had targeted both candidates. Rumours circulated that Joko was not Muslim and instead ethnic Chinese, an attempt estrange him from the majority of Indonesians who are Muslim.

He denied the accusations, saying he and his family members had performed the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Prabowo meanwhile was accused of being a Jordanian citizen. After Suharto's fall Prabowo went into voluntary exile in Jordan, where he was a guest of Jordanian King Abdullah.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party, which won only 10% of the votes in last month's legislative elections, has not allied itself with either candidate.


Tags indonesia

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...