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Indonesia gears for presidential election campaigning

Indonesia's two presidential election candidates have begun mobilising support ahead of the start of official campaigning on June 4 for the July 9 poll. 

JAKARTA: Official campaigning in Indonesia's presidential election begins in two days, but candidates have already begun mobilising support.

Both Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo -- the two presidential candidates -- have been busy meeting civic, religious and labour organisations in order to secure their support ahead of the July 9 polls.

They received their electoral number over the weekend, which will be used for the month-long campaign that begins on Wednesday.

Prabowo, who has former Chief Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa as his running mate, picked number 1.

"Hatta Rajasa and I, together with our partners in the Red-White coalition will work hard; will campaign hard for the people," said Prabowo. "But in the end we will respect the choices made by the people of Indonesia."

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo and former Vice President Jusuf Kalla picked number 2.

"To achieve a more harmonious and balance Indonesia please choose number 2," said Widodo, who is commonly known by his nickname Jokowi.

Thousands of supporters from both sides thronged the Election Commission's office to show their support.

The candidates have until July 5 to campaign.

There will then be a three day cooling-off period, before some 186 million eligible voters decide who they want to succeed Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the country's seventh president.
 

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