Jakarta (ANTARA) - Presidential candidate number 1 Anies Baswedan, while delivering his vision and mission during the first debate of the 2024 presidential race on Tuesday evening, promised to uphold the law for all people, without discrimination.

Baswedan said he believes that those wielding power and the authorities must ensure a fair and just enforcement of the law. However, plenty of regulations have been used for furthering the interests of certain parties, he added.

"Will we allow this (unenforced law) to continue taking place? No, this must be altered. We must restore this (the law)," he stressed in the courtyard of the General Elections Commission (KPU) Building in Jakarta.

The so-called negative trend of "downward law is greater than upward law" is still plaguing Indonesia, he said. That must stop, he added.

"Bearing that in mind, we encourage change, including by enforcing the law indiscriminately (without discrimination) for everyone," he stressed.

He further noted that a plethora of the nation's talents have tried to voice their aspirations for and criticism of the government. Their voices, however, have been frequently met with violence, he said.

Therefore, Baswedan affirmed that he is committed to upholding and enforcing the law without discriminating against anyone from any group, including civil servants, the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI), and the National Police (Polri).

"We will restore the dignity of the statehood that bestows the highest regard upon the law," he emphasized.

The first debate for the 2024 presidential election covered the themes of governance, law, and human rights, as well as corruption eradication, the strengthening of democracy, improvement in public services, and the building of harmony among the people.

Presidential and vice presidential candidate pair number 1 Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar, pair number 2 Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka, and pair number 3 Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD attended the first debate.

Four more rounds of debates are scheduled to take place on December 22, 2023, January 7, 2024, January 21, and February 4.

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Translator: Bagus Ahmad, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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