Indonesia’s presidential candidates sparred over vested interests and corruption impeding the country’s economic progress, in a final debate ahead of this week’s neck-and-neck election.
Vice presidential contender Jusuf Kalla, 72, the running mate of Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, said the two had no “mafia” standing by their side and asked Widodo’s challenger, former army general Prabowo Subianto, who he was referring to in comments about the risk of a kleptocracy in Indonesia. Prabowo, speaking in the July 5 televised debate, said democracy was at risk of drowning in improper practices.
The efforts of both sides to tout their commitment to fighting graft, in a country which ranked 114th among 177 countries in a 2013 Transparency International survey on corruption perceptions, shows how tight the race is ahead of the July 9 vote. Survey company Roy Morgan said the election is “too close to call,” as its latest poll showed 52 percent support for Widodo, known as Jokowi, and 48 percent for Prabowo.
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