JAKARTA: Hundreds of Indonesian students and activists will stage protests on Monday (Feb 12) over what they see as outgoing President Joko Widodo’s abuse of power to sway voters in this week’s election in favour of frontrunner Prabowo Subianto, organisers said.
Jokowi, as the incumbent is known, has not explicitly endorsed any of the three candidates vying to replace him as leader of the world’s third-largest democracy.
But he has made highly publicised appearances with Prabowo, with Jokowi’s eldest son running on the same ticket as vice president.
Two opinion surveys last week projected Prabowo 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 20 points behind.
Some voters have taken issue with Jokowi’s perceived lack of neutrality, saying it undermines Indonesia’s democracy by giving one candidate an unfair advantage.
“The ethical and moral breaches by Jokowi show that he is against a critical public voice,” said Aksi Gejayan Memanggil, a protest organiser in Yogyakarta, a city on Java island, said on Instagram.
Another protest was planned in the capital Jakarta by several rights groups.