Indonesia's presumed president Prabowo promises 'very smooth' transition of power

Indonesia's presumed president Prabowo promises 'very smooth' transition of power
Indonesia's presumed president Prabowo promises 'very smooth' transition of power

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Prabowo said Indonesia had fundamental strengths that only needed good management, but said it was crucial to create more jobs and tackle poverty. ― AFP pic

JAKARTA, March 5 ― Indonesia's presumed president Prabowo Subianto today promised a “very smooth” transfer of power later this year and pledged to continue the policies of incumbent Joko Widodo and do what was necessary to make improvements in the country.

Speaking at an investment forum, Prabowo, who unofficial vote counts show won the February 14 presidential election by a huge margin, said Indonesia had fundamental strengths that only needed good management, but said it was crucial to create more jobs and tackle poverty.

He said he believed economic growth could reach 8 per cent annually within the next four or five years and he was seeking to privatize state companies and increase tax ratios, by widening the tax base, not necessarily raising taxes.

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In a wide-ranging speech, Prabowo also said Indonesia should be proud of the election, for which the turnout was “not bad”, although he was not satisfied with his country's democracy.

“Let me attest, testify that democracy is really very, very tiring. Democracy is very, very messy, democracy is very, very costly,” he said.

“There is a lot of room for improvement. But also, let us not have this inferiority complex of always feeling that we are inferior to everybody.”

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Prabowo looks to have easily won the election at his third attempt at the presidency, buoyed by the tacit and controversial support of the hugely popular Jokowi, as the president is known, and the inclusion of the incumbent's son on his ticket as running mate.

Jokowi has been widely criticised for unfairly favouring Prabowo as a means of preserving his legacy, and of abusing his position to influence the election, which his allies reject.

Defence Minister Prabowo said Indonesia strived for food self-sufficiency, which he was optimistic could be achieved very quickly and that he expected it could be exporting food within four years.

He also said Indonesia was open for investment and had maintained prudent fiscal discipline, noting new administrations had not defaulted on previous government's debts and those had always been honoured. ― Reuters

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