Indonesian Presidential debate highlights democracy

Indonesian Presidential debate highlights democracy
Presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (right) salutes his competitor Prabowo Subianto (second from left) and his running mate, Hatta Rajasa (left), before the presidential candidate debate held at Balai Sarbini, Jakarta, on Monday.

Candidate pairs Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa and Joko "Jokowi" Widodo-Jusuf Kalla shared their insights into democracy during the first of five presidential debates that took place at Balai Sarbini in Jakarta, on Monday.

Prabowo spoke of the democracy that Indonesians had gained. As the third largest democracy in the world, he said, Indonesia must create a democratic culture by educating people on the importance of their right to vote.

"We, Prabowo-Hatta, are committed to ensuring the establishment of a clean government that conserves democracy and guarantees people's welfare," Prabowo said.

He made the statements shortly after law expert Zaenal Arifin Mochtar, the moderator of the debate, asked both presidential candidates to explain their priorities relating to the debate's theme of "Democracy building, clean governance and legal certainty".

The two-hour-debate started at 8 p.m. and was broadcast live on two television stations, SCTV and Berita Satu TV.

Echoing Prabowo, Hatta said the pair was committed to a government that would uphold the fundamental rights of each person and abolish any form of discrimination.

Meanwhile, presidential candidate Jokowi said more people were aware of the importance for leaders to meet and speak with people from all levels of society.

"Democracy is about listening to the people and taking concrete action. That's why we've spent a lot of time visiting villages, markets and fishing communities," he said.

Jokowi's running mate, Kalla, said that as part of Indonesia's move to democracy, measures needed to be taken to strengthen the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the police and the courts to regain people's trust in the country's rules and laws.

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