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Indonesia's Prabowo, Hatta register presidential nomination

Indonesia's presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Hatta Rajasa have submitted their nomination at the general elections commission in Jakarta.

JAKARTA: Indonesia's presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Hatta Rajasa have submitted their nomination at the general elections commission in Jakarta.

Prabowo and former chief economic minister Hatta Rajasa are up against frontrunner Joko Widodo from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.

Joko Widodo's running mate is Jusuf Kalla, a senior Golkar politician, but Golkar says it is instead backing Prabowo and Hatta.

The ruling Democrat Party, which only garnered 10.5 per cent of the vote, has so far not declared its support for either pairing.

Hours before Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa were scheduled to register their nomination, protesters rallied in front of the general elections commission, reminding the public about Prabowo's alleged human rights violations.

The former general has been tied to human rights abuses such as during the Indonesian military's occupation of East Timor in the late 1970s.

But the posters put up by the protesters were soon torn down by Prabowo supporters.

In anticipation of any clashes between the two camps, security was tight at the general elections commission.

Dozens of police were guarding the premises since Tuesday morning, with anti-bomb squad vehicles parked in the parking lot.

But the situation soon turned festive, as hundreds of Prabowo supporters lined the streets.

"The head of our presidential election campaign is Professor Mahfud MD," announced Prabowo as his supporters applauded.

The inclusion of former Constitutional Court chief Mahfud MD into Prabowo-Hatta fold is quite a coup.

Mahfud was the presidential candidate of the National Awakening Party -- a party which has chosen to align itself with the rival Joko-Kalla coalition.

His backing of the Prabowo-Hatta campaign lends it credibility.

Prabowo's Gerindra coalition is now backed by five political parties.

The support of Indonesia's second largest party, Golkar, is seen as a significant boost that could narrow the gap with frontrunner Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla.

"Wherever we are at, we always become the influential factor,” said Tantowi Yahya, a Golkar party official.

“We become the determinant factor including in the coalition we are in right now. With 91 seats in the Parliament, comprising well established and long experienced politicians, I'm very confident that we will be a great contribution to the coalition." 

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