Jakarta (ANTARA) - The General Elections Commission (KPU) revealed that the broadcasts of four rounds of debates between presidential and vice presidential candidates ahead of the 2024 election by national television channels have been viewed by 394 million viewers.

“Until the fourth debate rounds, from the nine television stations (broadcasting the debate), we record around 394 million total unduplicated audiences,” KPU commissioner August Mellaz informed here on Friday.

On average, he said, each round of the presidential debate was followed by more than 94 million viewers.

The KPU commissioner said that the high viewership was achieved due to the pre-debate, debate, and post-debate coverage successfully attracting viewers.

“The pre-debate, the main debate, and the post-debate phases were covered through talk shows on various television channels. The talk shows also discussed the qualitative and quantitative aspects (of the debates), including most-mentioned words,” Mellaz pointed out.

Moreover, the high viewership proved that residents found the presidential and vice presidential debates interesting, he added.

“We cannot dismiss the enthusiasm among the viewers. The presidential and vice presidential debates for the 2024 presidential election are indeed interesting for them,” the official said.

He commended residents’ active participation in watching the presidential debates and expressed the hope that the debates will help voters select the successors of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin.

“We hope the debate becomes an essential instrument to show the voters about the capability of each presidential and vice presidential candidate presenting their manifesto during the debate,” Mellaz stated.

The presidential and vice presidential candidate pairs are scheduled to participate in five televised debate rounds before election day. The first two debates took place on December 12 and 22, 2023, and the next two rounds took place on January 7 and 21, 2024.

The last round of debate between the presidential candidates will take place on Sunday (February 4).

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Translator: Rio Feisal, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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