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Indonesia set for last major rallies as election campaign draws to close

JAKARTA - Indonesia's presidential contenders are gearing up for their last major rallies on Saturday (Feb 10) to fire up their bases and sway undecided voters, as campaigning draws to a close ahead of the world's biggest single-day election next week.

Candidates will enter a cooling off period on Sunday until the big day on Feb 14, where three contestants are in the running to succeed the hugely popular President Joko Widodo, who has led Indonesia for a decade and cannot run again.

The election in the world's third-largest democracy is between two popular former governors, Ganjar Pranowo and Anies Baswedan, and ex-special forces commander Prabowo Subianto, who has soared in opinion polls with the tacit backing of the president, and the incumbent's son as his running mate.

At stake is the leadership for the next five years of a mineral-rich G20 economy of 270 million people positioning itself as a future destination for multinational firms in downstream industries.

More than 20,000 legislative and administrative posts will also be decided next week, contested by 259,000 candidates.

The biggest party's Ganjar will be seeking to shore up his support in Central Java, which he served for two decades as a governor and lawmaker, while Anies, an independent candidate who was governor of the capital from 2017-2022, will hold his rally at the city's biggest stadium.

Defence Minister Prabowo is contesting his third successive election and holds his rally at another stadium in Jakarta, hoping to convert his big social media following among young Indonesians into votes. More than half of Indonesia's 204.8 million electorate is under 40.

Survey boost

Prabowo was given a boost on Friday when the latest opinion poll by Indikator