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Indonesia's Widodo rallies supporters ahead of poll

Published on Jul 5, 2014 8:53 PM

JAKARTA (AFP) - Presidential hopeful Joko Widodo pledged to build a "new history" for Indonesia at a huge campaign rally Saturday, a last push to win votes in a tight election race.

Tens of thousands of cheering supporters waved flags emblazoned with pictures of Mr Widodo, known by his nickname Jokowi, at Jakarta's main stadium on the final day of campaigning before Wednesday's election.

Backers of his only rival, Prabowo Subianto, were holding rallies to show their support across the country, while the ex-general took time out to prepare for a televised debate with Mr Widodo later Saturday.

At the rally, Mr Widodo - seen as a fresh face in a country still dominated by figures from the autocratic Suharto era - told the cheering crowd: "We are on the verge of building a new history." The Jakarta governor added that his push for the presidency had been "hit by smear campaigns but we didn't fall apart because we truly believe in the Republic of Indonesia".

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