President Joko Widodo’s rally attracted and estimated 100,000 people at Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno stadium on Saturday. The gathering was held just days ahead of the biggest-ever elections in the world’s third largest democracy, in a rock concert-like event.
At the main stadium, Jokowi’s supporters waved the Indonesian red-and-white flag. Entertained by dozens of local musicians, the crowd sang and danced to national songs and traditional music. The supporters who were present also prayed together, led by Jokowi’s running mate, Muslim Cleric Ma’ruf Amin. Colourful parades also graced the congested streets of Senayan, because the main stadium had exceeded its capacity.
Astonished by the crowd, Jack Board, Senior Correspondent of Channel News Asia, observed via his Twitter account @JackBoardCNA: “Leaders of so many countries couldn’t dream of pulling a crowd like this.” Dressed in his trademark white shirt, Jokowi called for his supporters to maintain their optimism that Indonesia would continue to progress. He also promised to further develop the country’s human resources if he gets elected for a second term.
The crowd also cheered as the incumbent pledged his support for pluralism in the Muslim-majority country, with a population of more than 260 million. “Our country is a big nation of different ethnicities, religions, traditions, and cultures,” Jokowi affirmed.
More than 190 million Indonesians will cast their ballot to choose their next president, parliamentarians and thousands of local officials on April 17, which will be a public holiday. Jokowi is believed to be ahead of his rival, Prabowo Subianto with a double-digit lead in most polls.
Source: Coconuts, The Jakarta Post
Image: New Straits Times