Dumai (ANTARA) - Indonesian Presidential candidate number 01 Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has vowed to continue the construction of the Trans-Sumatra railway track connecting Dumai city in Riau Province to Labuhanbatu in North Sumatra Province.

"I have asked that this construction project be continued," he said in response to a question raised by one of his loyalists attending his open campaign at Bukit Gelanggang field in Dumai city on Tuesday.

With this 271 kilometer-long track connecting Labuhanbatu to Dumai, passengers in North Sumatra would not have to stop at Rantauprapat, but at Dumai city, he told thousands of his loyalists who flocked to the campaign venue.

Jokowi also said that he had approved the operation of roll-on/roll-off ferry services in Dumai, a coastal city in Riau Province. During his open campaign, he also highlighted the low prices of Indonesian palm oil products.

In dealing with this trend, he said he supported developing 50 percent blended biodiesel (B50) fuel, and there had been a memorandum of understanding with PT Badak Lima and the state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina.

Jokowi said the B50 fuel program for developing biofuels would positively affect regions with palm plantations, he said.

In connection with the 2019 presidential election, the General Election Commissions (KPU) has allowed the two pairs of Jokowi-Ma'ruf Amin, and Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno to conduct open campaigns from March 24 to April 13, 2019.

The KPU has also prepared five rounds of presidential debates, broadcast live by several television channels. The presidential debates and open campaigns are expected to help some 192 million eligible voters, who will participate in this democratic process, to learn more about the capacity and capability of the two pairs.

Empowered with sufficient information about the candidates, they will be able to vote rationally. The government has even set a target that the parliamentary and presidential elections, due to be held simultaneously throughout the country on April 17, should see the participation of at least 77.5 percent of voters.

Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo recently said that this year's participation rate would be higher than those of the 2009 and 2014 general elections which were recorded at 71 and 74 percent, respectively.

Translator: Agus Salim, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Eliswan Azly
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