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A defense minister and 2 former governors vie for Indonesia’s presidency

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesians on Wednesday will elect the successor to popular President Joko Widodo, who is serving his second and final term.

It is a three-way race for the presidency among current Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and two former provincial governors, Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo.

Subianto, who is widely seen as the front-runner, has picked Widodo’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, as his running mate.

About 205 million people are eligible to vote in the world’s third-largest democracy and the most populous Muslim-majority nation.

Here is some information about the candidates and their running mates.


Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto is the only candidate with links to the 1967-98 Suharto dictatorship, when he was a lieutenant general.

A longtime commander in the Kopassus special forces, he was dishonorably discharged in 1998 after Kopassus soldiers kidnapped and tortured political opponents of Suharto, his then-father-in-law. Of 22 activists kidnapped that year, 13 remain missing. Subianto never faced trial, although several of his men were tried and convicted.

He went into self-exile in Jordan for several years before returning and founding the Gerindra Party in early 2008. He ran for the presidency twice, losing to current President Joko Widodo both times.

He refused to acknowledge the results but accepted Widodo’s offer of the defense minister position in 2019, a bid for unity.

Polls show 72-year-old Subianto well ahead of his two rivals, though perhaps not with the majority needed to avoid a runoff. While he is the oldest candidate, his running mate is the youngest: 36-year-old Surakarta Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Widodo’s son.

Raka is below the statutory minimum