JAKARTA: Jokowi or Prabowo? The answer will be known when more than 192 million Indonesians cast their vote in the presidential election of 2019 scheduled for April 17.
The presidential election looks like a rematch of the 2014 encounter with the same two candidates bidding for the right to lead Indonesia for the next five years.
In the presidential election, which follows a direct and simple majority system, incumbent Indonesian President Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi), will run for re-election with one of the most influential Muslim figures in Indonesia, Ma'ruf Amin, 76, as his running mate against former army general Prabowo Subianto, and former Jakarta deputy governor Sandiaga Uno, 49, for the five-year term between 2019 and 2024.
According to the General Elections Commission, there are a total of 711 seats at stake in Indonesia's two-house People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), namely 575 seats in the People's Representative Council (DPR) and 136 seats in the Regional Representative Council (DPD).
Also open for contention are more than 19,500 seats in over 2,000 regional, municipal and regency legislative council electoral districts.
At the polling station, each voter will pick officials at five levels of political office: (i) President and vice-president; (ii). a member of the DPR; (iii). a member of the DPD; (iv) a member of the Provincial Legislative Council; and (v) a member of the City/District Legislative Council.
On the presidential election, most surveys show Jokowi, 57, having the leading position by a large margin over Prabowo, 67.
However, according to political analysts, all surveys will never show Prabowo to be ahead: “In 2014, Jokowi saw his huge lead at the start of the campaign almost wiped out after a vigorous campaign by Prabowo, (but) Jokowi only won by five percentage points,” said an analyst.
A total of 16 parties will be competing in the legislative election at a national level.
Jokowi has the endorsement of nine parties - National Awakening Party, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, Golkar Party, Nasdem Party, Indonesian Unity Party, United Development Party, Indonesian Solidarity Party, People's Conscience Party, Crescent Star Party and Indonesian Justice and Unity Party.
Meanwhile, Prabowo has the endorsement of five parties - Great Indonesia Movement Party, Berkarya Party, Prosperous Justice Party, National Mandate Party and Democratic Party.
The following are key dates for the presidential election:
(i). April 13, 2019: Fifth and final debate for the Presidential Election: Jokowi- Ma'ruf vs Prabowo- Sandiaga on the economy, social welfare, finance and investment, as well as trade and industry.
(ii). April 14 to 16, 2019: Cooling-off period.
(iii). April 17, 2019: Polling Day.
(iv). April 25 - May 22, 2019: Progressive release of the results of the general election.
(v). Oct 1, 2019: Inauguration of lawmakers.
(vi). Oct 20, 2019: Inauguration of Indonesia’s new President and Vice-President. -- Bernama