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Indonesia in final stretch ahead of world's biggest single-day election

JAKARTA — Indonesian authorities were making final preparations ahead of Wednesday's election (Feb 14), with around 25,000 police set to ensure security in a contest seen as a test of democratic gains made since the end of authoritarian rule 25 years ago.

Outgoing President Joko Widodo has presided over steady growth and relative stability in the past decade in the mineral-rich Group of 20 economy of 270 million people, establishing it as a future base for multinationals in the electric vehicle supply chain.

Still, Widodo, who is widely known as Jokowi, has in the run-up to the Feb 14 presidential election faced criticism over his perceived political meddling and push to establish a political dynasty.

He has not explicitly endorsed any of the three presidential candidates but has made highly publicised appearances with controversial former special forces commander Prabowo Subianto, and his eldest son is running on the same ticket for vice president.

Two opinion surveys last week projected Defence Minister Prabowo, who is making his third run to be president, could secure more than 50 per cent of the votes on Wednesday, allowing him to win in a single round. Rivals Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo were seen at least 27 and 31 points behind him respectively.

Indonesia has entered a cooling-off period until voting day, with candidates barred from campaigning.

Running an election is a gargantuan task in Indonesia. The archipelago of more than 17,000 islands stretches across three times zones and a distance similar to across the United States.

Election officials have delivered ballot boxes and papers to far-flung regions, in some cases travelling hours by boat, helicopter or ox-drawn carts.

The weather agency has warned