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Will Debate Win Convince Voters?

Indonesia's presidential candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo shakes hands with his opponent Prabowo Subianto after a debate in Jakarta

Last night’s debate has officially ended the campaign period for presidential hopefuls Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto. Widodo, once a shoe-in for the presidency has (over the last few months) steadily lost ground to increasingly popular Prabowo Subianto.

In a last ditched effort to claw back some campaign momentum, Jokowi running mate Jusuf Kalla took aim at Subianto –Mr Prabowo, in your campaign in Bandung yesterday you said that there are some thieves. We are not thieves. We don’t have thieves [on our side]. In an unusually candid response Subianto disclosed – I am not saying there are no thieves in my party – to wit he later elaborated was an issue that affected all of Indonesia.

Despite what observers claimed was “a win for Widodo,” it remains to be seen if last night’s debate success will be enough to convince Indonesian voters. Prabowo, increasingly popular with Indonesian youth, may end up snatching victory from the previously untouchable Jokowi juggernaut.

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