Indonesia kicks off presidential race as currency slumps

JAKARTA: Campaigning for Indonesia's presidential election in April kicked off Sunday, pitting incumbent Joko Widodo against a former army general in the race to guide the sector's third-biggest democracy.

Opinion polls show Widodo, whose down-to-earth taste and ambitious infrastructure force have made him well-liked by many Indonesians, well forward of his major challenger Prabowo Subianto.

But his bid for a 2nd term is facing headwinds over his financial record, with the Indonesian rupiah sitting at two-decade lows, and fears of a fake information campaign intended to disrupt his re-election.

Some 186 million voters on this planet's greatest Muslim-majority nation are anticipated pass to the polls on April 17, in an election which will even decide individuals of national and local parliaments.

Both leaders -- wearing traditional Indonesian folks costumes -- attended an official campaign launch in central Jakarta Sunday morning, by which they pledged to run a calm contest free from hoaxes and the politicisation of ethnicity and religion.

Many Indonesians might be keen to steer clear of a repeat of the Jakarta gubernatorial elections in 2017, that have been marked by large boulevard demonstrations led by hardline Muslims antagonistic to the capital's former governor who's ethnic Chinese and a Christian.

Analysts say campaigning is most likely to concentrate on the economic system, inequality, id politics and rising intolerance across the sprawling Southeast Asian archipelago.

Widodo, who's popularly known as Jokowi, shocked many Indonesians in August by choosing to run along conservative Islamic cleric Ma'ruf Amin.

Amin, 75, is chairman of the rustic's most sensible Islamic authority, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), which problems fatwas, and is understood for his disparaging perspectives towards certain minorities.

About 90 p.c of Indonesia's 260 million other folks have historically followed a reasonable form of Islam, but there are concerns that it's taking an an increasing number of conservative flip.

The pair will sq. off against Prabowo and former deputy Jakarta governor Sandiaga Uno, a businessman and personal equity rich person.

Prabowo, who misplaced to Widodo in 2014, was a most sensible army determine in the chaotic months ahead of dictator Suharto was toppled by student protests in 1998.

Following the strongman's downfall, he admitted ordering the abduction of democracy activists and was discharged from the military.

The first major survey by the Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) after candidate registration closed confirmed Jokowi and Amin with 52 p.c beef up forward of Prabowo and Uno on 30 p.c.

Widodo had a identical degree of backing at first of campaigning in 2014, only to watch the distance shrink dramatically as polling day neared.

Pundits say Widodo, who has employed billionaire Inter Milan chairman Erick Thohir as his campaign manager, is maximum inclined when it comes to the economic system and inequality.

"The opposition will use economic issues in their campaigns, including foreign debt and foreign control of natural resources," stated Syamsuddin Haris, a political analyst on the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

Indonesia's currency has slumped in contemporary weeks, falling to levels now not seen because the nation was embroiled in a region-wide monetary crisis that sparked financial damage and the road protests that resulted in the downfall of Suharto.

Claims of financial mismanagement, together with outright character assassination, are anticipated to be amplified by viral social media and faux information campaigns.

Widodo has been dogged for years by misleading hoaxes that he is ethnic Chinese, a Christian, and a member of the outlawed Indonesian communist party.

Indonesia kicks off presidential race as currency slumps Indonesia kicks off presidential race as currency slumps Reviewed by kailash soni on September 23, 2018 Rating: 5
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