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Next Year’s Presidential Election May Only Be a One-Man Race

Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s most likely contender for next year’s election, Prabowo Subianto, may not be able to assemble a viable coalition to be nominated by August. This means Widodo may find himself without a challenger in the next election.

Widodo is leading in opinion polls and wooing the former general, who’s seen as his only real competition.

Prabowo Subianto, who is the leader of the main opposition party and runner up in the 2014 election, has accepted his party’s endorsement, however this is not enough to be nominated as a presidential candidate.

A party or coalition must have at least 20 percent of seats in parliament or have won a minimum 25 percent of the popular vote in the last legislative election to nominate a candidate. Jokowi has secured the support of five of the 10 parties in parliament, leaving Prabowo’s Gerindra, with only 13 percent of the seats, to secure support from the few parties left in order to get across the line.

The lack of a credible contender in next year’s election would raise questions over Indonesia’s young democracy, as well as Widodo’s commitment to reforms. He has recently faced criticism for distorting market mechanisms, risking a higher budget deficit and jeopardising much-needed foreign investment in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Source: Bloomberg

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