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Who is running for president in Indonesia's 2024 election?

Who is running for president in Indonesia's 2024 election?
Indonesia's Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto speaks during a joint news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (not pictured), following their meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Nov 21, 2022.
PHOTO: Reuters

JAKARTA - Indonesia is set to hold a presidential election in February next year, with three men so far vying for the top job in the world's third-largest democracy and its most populous Muslim-majority country.

Here are details of the candidates announced so far:

Prabowo Sunianto

This will be the former special forces commander's third run at the presidency, having twice lost narrowly to the incumbent Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, in 2014 and 2019. He was top of the latest opinion survey on presidential contenders by Indikator Politik, with the support of 32 per cent of respondents.

Prabowo, 71, comes from an elite Indonesian family and commands a huge following, despite unproven allegations of human rights violations over the kidnapping of democracy activists during the economic and political turmoil of the late 1990s. He has denied wrongdoing.

In previous elections, Prabowo has forged alliances with conservative Islamic groups and political parties, which were criticised for stoking communal tensions and opening up rifts in the secular, pluralistic country.

After losing the 2019 election, Jokowi brought Prabowo into his cabinet as defence minister - a move analysts say has helped heal divisions.

Prabowo chairs the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) party, which endorsed him as their presidential candidate in August last year.

Ganjar Pranowo

Indonesia's largest party has pinned its hopes of staying in power on Ganjar, governor of Central Java, one of the country's most populous provinces. He was second in the latest poll with 28 per cent support.

Like incumbent Jokowi, who comes from humble beginnings, 54-year-old Ganjar has gained huge support from ordinary Indonesians as a leader from outside of the political and military elite.

With stints as a lawmaker and provincial governor under his belt, Ganjar hopes his popularity on social media and with young voters will help bring him victory.

He had topped opinion surveys for months until he backed another governor's call to stop Israel from taking part in the under-20 World Cup, which Muslim-majority Indonesia was due to host. Indonesia was subsequently dropped as host, upsetting fans and players.

Anies Baswedan

Analysts say the 53-year-old academic and politician will be a likely frontrunner as the race heats up, given his popularity as governor of Jakarta, a position considered a springboard to the presidency. Jokowi was Jakarta governor from 2012 to 2014.


While in office, Anies was praised for his Covid-19 response, but was also criticised for his handling of recurrent flooding in one of Southeast Asia's biggest and most congested cities.

But his rise to power in 2017 was controversial as he accepted the endorsement of hardline Islamist groups who had agitated against his opponent and then-Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama - an ethnic Chinese Christian - who was later jailed for insulting Islam.

At the time, Anies, who espouses moderate Islam, was seen to have done little to mend widening religious and communal rifts.

Anies is not a member of any political party but is backed by three parties, including a secular party in the ruling coalition and the conservative Islamic Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

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