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Indonesia Presidential Elections 2009:
Yudhoyono, Megawati in close race – independent polls

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and former President Megawati Sukarnoputri likely face a neck-and-neck race in next year's presidential election, Kyodo news agency reported, quoted a recent national survey.

According to the nationwide survey with 2,000 respondents, 28 percent of respondents would vote for Megawati while 27 percent support Yudhoyono.

The survey was conducted by market research and polling firm Taylor Nelson Sofres for the National Leadership Center, a Jakarta-based nongovernmental organisation focusing on leadership development.

The latest survey, conducted July 18 to 29 in 30 of the country's 33 provinces, confirms the results of other polls indicating a sharp decline in Yudhoyono's popularity since his government raised fuel prices in late May.

"Voters expressed serious concerns about the financial situation in the country, with most voters saying their family finances have gotten worse in the past year," NLC President Director Taufik Bahaudin told a press conference.

The survey also showed an increase in popularity for Prabowo Subianto, former son-in-law of former President Suharto.

In the survey, Subianto rose to third place with 11 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him. Earlier, other polls also showed increases in his popularity from less than 1 percent in January to between 4 and 8 percent in June.

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