Candidates face off in Indonesia's election debate

Taking centre stage at the first debate for Indonesia's 2019 presidential election were General Elections Commission chairman Arief Budiman (centre) with (from far left) vice-presidential candidate Ma'ruf Amin and incumbent President Joko Widodo, alo
PHOTO: ANTARA

Taking centre stage at the first debate for Indonesia's 2019 presidential election were General Elections Commission chairman Arief Budiman (centre) with (from far left) vice-presidential candidate Ma'ruf Amin and incumbent President Joko Widodo, along with their rivals Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno. Mr Joko and his challenger Mr Prabowo yesterday offered big visions for the country during the debate that also saw them attacking each other and defending their own positions. The debate was the first of five live sessions ahead of the April 17 presidential election. Both candidates came across as sure-footed and engaged. And while pollster surveys showed that Mr Joko and his running mate Dr Ma'ruf are ahead, there is a big pool of undecided voters who could yet change the picture three months later.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2019, with the headline 'Candidates face off in Indonesia's election debate'. Print Edition | Subscribe