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A general with a dark past became president of the largest Islamic country in the world

A general with a dark past became president of the largest Islamic country in the world

February 14, 2024 – 4:29 pm

The victory of the current Defense Minister, Prabowo Subianto, in the Indonesian presidential elections held on Wednesday, based on the opinion polls of the majority of those who left the polls that have been announced so far, appears likely. In a post-election statement, the minister declared himself the winner.

After interviewing more than 80% of voters, Indonesian polling stations said that based on their preliminary data and estimates, Prabowo Subianto can count on 57-59% of votes cast. This means that the election can be decided in the first round by collecting more than half of the total votes cast, as well as at least a fifth of the regional votes across the country. They added that Prabowo Subianto has a significant lead over his main rivals, former Jakarta Governor Anies Basdiwan and Central Java Province Governor and former Education Minister Jangar Pranowo.

After the end of the second term of the current head of state, Joko Widodo – whom everyone just calls Jokowi – who is still popular after ten years of rule, cannot run again according to the laws of the country; However, it is clear to the public that Prabowo Subianto is continuing his legacy. Nothing indicates continuity better than the fact that Subianto's future vice-presidential nominee is none other than President Widodo's 36-year-old eldest son, Gebran Rakabuming Raka – and the minimum age for a vice-presidential nomination has also been changed.

72-year-old Prabowo Subianto served in the Indonesian Army's Special Forces for twenty years from the end of the 1970s, and the units he commanded were involved in mass murders and ethnic cleansing. He later admitted to some of his violations. In the 1990s, he left the army under dishonorable circumstances, but after a tortuous political career, he actually served as defense minister under Jokowi.

Polling stations closed their doors around one o'clock in the afternoon local time. It is expected that the results will be completed at the end of next March, because the parliamentary elections were also held in the country in three time zones. If Prabowo Subianto does not obtain an absolute majority of votes, the second round will be held in June.

The Southeast Asian country, with a population of 280 million, is the fourth most populous country in the world and home to the largest Muslim community. In Indonesia, which includes 170,000 islands, there are 200 million citizens entitled to vote, who were able to cast their votes in more than 800,000 electoral districts (there has been no news yet about participation data).

(MTI, The New York Times)

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