Indonesia presidential candidate Prabowo cements lead in the poll

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian defence minister and presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto cemented his lead in the polls after candidates took part in televised debates ahead of the looming Feb. 14.

A Dec. 23-24 poll released by Indikator Politik Indonesia on Tuesday showed that Prabowo, who is running with President Joko Widodo’s 36-year-old son Gibran Rakabuming Raka, would secure 46.7% of the vote.

Indikator placed former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo as his closest opponent, with 24.5% of the vote, while former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan had the support of 21% of those polled.

A poll by Kompas this month gave Prabowo 39.3% of the vote and placed Anies as his closest opponent with 16.7%, followed by Ganjar 15.3%.

Indikator’s survey was conducted after televised debates between the presidential candidates on Dec. 12 and candidates for vice president on Dec. 22.

A decision by the country’s constitutional court this October paved the way for Gibran to run in the elections, raising widespread concern about the deepening of dynastic politics in the world’s third-largest democracy.

During the televised debate Gibran defended his father’s economic agenda, especially development of the new capital city.

Three more debates are expected before the election.

(Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by David Goodman)