INDONESIAN President Joko Widodo has put the economy at the centre of his pitch to voters, pointing to job creation and boosting purchasing power as key to alleviating poverty for scores of Indonesians.
In a speech Mr Joko – popularly known as Jokowi – underscored progress made in infrastructure during his first term as he sought to build momentum ahead of elections on April 17.
He also outlined key policy objectives should he win, focusing on a positive theme of taking Indonesia forward. “I am optimistic that hard work will transform the lives of the Indonesian people,” Mr Joko said in Bogor, near the capital Jakarta. “We will continue to reduce poverty through the creation of employment, economy, stronger purchasing power, comprehensive social security”.
While polls show Mr Joko holding a commanding lead of about 20 points over his presidential rival, the former general Prabowo Subianto, the gap has narrowed.