Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo attended a gathering held by his supporters at Sentul International Convention Center, Bogor, West Java, Saturday afternoon, during which he again called to preserve national unity ahead of next year`s general election.

"The biggest asset of the nation is brotherhood, unity in the diversity of local languages, tribes, and religions," he noted in a speech.

Widodo called on all volunteers and supporters to foster unity, brotherhood, and cohesiveness, as they are God`s grace that must be preserved and accepted with gratefulness.

He said the parliamentary and presidential elections will be held simultaneously next year. To this end, he emphasized that the elections were not about losing or winning but more about strengthening democracy.

"(They are held) to make our democracy strong and that the people are able to feel the process," he noted.

Thousands of volunteers from various community elements attended the rally, including Airlangga Hartarto, the general chairman of Golkar Party, one of the parties that has expressed support to Jokowi`s reelection.

The president expressed readiness to bid for his reelection in the election scheduled in April. He has been nominated by his Indonesia Democratic Party Struggle led by former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, the daughter of the late first president Soekarno.

Before delivering his speech, the president took the opportunity to shake hands with the attendees from the front to the back row.

The General Election Commission officially opened registration for candidates on Saturday, but no one had come up. The registration will remain open until Aug 10.

The president has not yet announced who would be his running mate for the election and neither has his prospective opponent retired army general Prabowo Subianto.

Reported by Agus Salim
Edited by Yoseph Haryadi

Reporter: antara
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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