Indonesian defense minister opens lead in presidential poll

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has opened a comfortable lead in opinion polls ahead of a presidential election scheduled for next Wednesday.

The latest such survey shows Prabowo with support of more than 50 percent in the three-way race.

The other candidates are former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and former Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo.

One of the key election issues is whether to take over the policies of incumbent President Joko Widodo or reform them. Joko has retained high approval ratings for his administration in public polls.

The three candidates held large-scale rallies in the capital, Jakarta, and elsewhere on Saturday, the final day of their campaigning.

Prabowo expressed his commitment to taking over policies from the administration. He said he will strive to bring prosperity to all Indonesian people and continue what has been built by previous presidents.

Anies called for reforming the current administration, which some people have criticized as moving away from democracy. He noted that all Indonesians want democratic practices that rely on fairness, openness and great respect for ethics.

Ganjar stressed that he will carefully consider how to lead Indonesia forward.

Indonesia has the largest population and the largest economy in Southeast Asia.