Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday denied that his government was trying to postpone the 2024 presidential election after top politicians in the country, including his closest ally, backed the idea of extending his term in office beyond two. legal terms.
His remarks came a day before students stage a mass protest in the capital Jakarta and several other cities to oppose the alleged plan they say could threaten democracy. Student protests in Indonesia often turn violent.
During a cabinet meeting to discuss preparations for the 2024 elections, Widodo ordered his ministers to explain publicly that all stages and dates of the election had been determined.
“This needs to be explained so that there are no rumors circulating among the people that the government is trying to postpone the election or speculation about the extension of the president’s term or a related third term,” Widodo said in comments published by his office on Thursday. his official YouTube channel. “Because we have clearly agreed that the elections will be held on February 14, 2024.”
Leading political figures, including cabinet ministers Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and Airlangga Hartarto, who is also chairman of the Golkar party in the ruling coalition, have suggested that the elections be postponed.
Pandjaitan, who is a close ally of Widodo, recently claimed that data shows that 110 million Indonesians support delaying the election. It was unclear what data he was citing.
Recent reports from Kompas, the reputable Indonesian pollster, indicate that Widodo is hugely popular in the archipelago nation of more than 270 million people, with a public trust rating of over 70%. However, a survey by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting showed that more than 70% reject any plans to prolong their stay in office.