Voting underway in Indonesia’s biggest election | News

Indonesians have started voting to choose their next president.

Voting got underway in the presidential and legislative elections at 7am on Wednesday (2300 GMT Tuesday) in easternmost provinces. It began in the capital Jakarta two hours later.

Indonesia has three time zones. Voting ends at 1pm and so-called “quick count” results are expected after about two hours.

The presidential race pits incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his running mate, Indonesian Ulama Council Chairman Ma’ruf Amin, against retired general and longtime rival Prabowo Subianto and multi-millionaire businessman Sandiaga Uno.

Widodo and Amin are trying to project themselves as progressive yet religious, with a campaign slogan of “Advancing Indonesia”.

“I am a nationalist,” Widodo said on the announcement of his candidacy in August 2018. “He is a devout religious figure. We complement each other well.”

Prabowo, who has been accused of human rights abuses, ran against Widodo in 2014, while Uno is a businessman who spent a few months as deputy governor of Jakarta, after the mass rallies against Basuki Tjajaha Purnama (also known as Ahok) who was accused – and later convicted – of blasphemy. 



 

Ballot papers were delivered with security escorts to remote regions of the country by plane, speedboat, canoe and horseback.

Two speedboats have been deployed as mobile polling stations for residents on the Thousand Islands chain north of Jakarta.

“Even though some people are apathetic, I think it’s important to vote for Indonesia’s future. Vote with your conscience,” said Hadi Wiguna, who was queueing to vote at a polling stration in central Jakarta.

A tornado in East Java late on Tuesday destroyed two village polling stations and cut power to two others, forcing the authorities to move voting to safer areas, the domestic news agency Antara reported.

Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay, reporting from Jakarta, said the turnout was likely to be more than the traditional 70 percent.

“The turnout might be more this time due to two different elections taking place as well as the divisive nature of the vote and the long election campaign where there were many disagreements surrounding issues like the economy and religion.”

The latest opinion polls in the lead-up to the election had Widodo-Amin leading by as many as 20 points, with a significant proportion of undecided voters.

Most political experts predict a closer result, however, given that 2014’s pre-election polls were similar, but Widodo ultimately beat Prabowo by just six points. 



 

 

Wednesday will also see elections for parliamentarians taking place. Legislative elections are normally held months prior to presidential elections but the move means voters will be confronted with a list of tough choices.

More than 10,000 people have volunteered to crowd-source election results posted at polling stations in a real-time bid to thwart attempts at fraud.

However, the opposition has already alleged voter list irregularities that could affect millions and has vowed legal or “people power” action if its concerns are ignored.

“We are very concerned, we hope and we pray that today’s election will be fair and peaceful, it will be peaceful if it’s fair. Hopefully the will of the Indonesian people, will be heard today,” said Prabowo after casting his vote.

Last week, several videos appeared online apparently showing thousands of voting papers stuffed in bags at a warehouse in neighbouring Malaysia, with many apparently already marked.

The country’s election supervisory board has recommended a re-vote for Indonesians in Malaysia and in Australia, where several hundred registered voters were still standing in line after the polls closed there on Saturday.

A decision will be taken by the elections commission.

Additional reporting by Kate Walton in Jakarta


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

Source

more recommended stories

  • What you need to know about India’s BJP | India News

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is.

  • Pentagon ‘mulls sending thousands more troops’ to Middle East | News

    The United States‘ Department of Defense.

  • US House Speaker Pelosi says Trump is engaged in a ‘cover up’ | USA News

    Democrats in the United States House.

  • Washington says attacks ‘deterred’ as US-Iran tensions rise | News

    The acting US defence secretary says.

  • New Ukrainian President Zelensky calls early parliamentary polls | Ukraine News

    Ukraine‘s new President Volodymyr Zelensky called.

  • Water supplies restored to besieged Libyan capital Tripoli | Libya News

    Water supplies to the 2.5 million.

  • Trump loses lawsuit challenging subpoena for financial records | Trump News

    A US judge on Monday ruled.

  • North African filmmakers pushing boundaries at Cannes 2019 | France News

    This year’s Cannes Film Festival is.

  • US says warship sails in South China Sea amid trade tensions | News

    The United States military has said.

  • Saudi Arabia ‘seeks to avert war, ready to respond with force’ | News

    Saudi Arabia wants to avert war.

  • Eurovision vs Globalvision: An artistic response | Palestine News

    Bethlehem and London – Palestinian, Israeli.

  • Presidential hopeful Joe Biden calls for unity in inaugural rally | Elections 2018 News

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has.

  • US warns airliners flying over Gulf of ‘misidentification’ | Iran News

    US diplomats warned commercial airliners flying.

  • Australian election: Voting under way in key contest | Australia News

    Melbourne, Australia – Australians are heading.

  • An Iranian building bridges in wall-obsessed America | US & Canada

    A towering artist of his generation,.

  • Taiwan parliament to vote on same-sex marriage legislation | Taiwan News

    Amid deep divisions, Taiwan‘s parliament has.

  • The Philippines’ Duterte: In pursuit of an imperial presidency | Asia

    Although President Rodrigo Duterte‘s name was.

  • Venezuela government, opposition in Norway for crucial talks | News

    Envoys from the Venezuelan government and.

  • Alibaba earnings hint at China’s ability to weather trade war | China News

    China‘s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group reported.

  • Iran halts some commitments under 2015 nuclear deal | News

    Iran has officially stopped some commitments.

  • PNG assesses damage from magnitude 7.5 earthquake | Papua New Guinea News

    Authorities in Papua New Guinea have dispatched.

  • Palestinian campaigners call for mass boycott of Airbnb on May 15 | News

    A Palestinian campaign has called on.

  • Spyware discovered targeting phones through WhatsApp calls | News

    Spyware crafted by an “advanced cyber.

  • Senior Palestinian official says she was refused US visa | USA News

    A senior Palestinian official has said she.

  • Sweden to reopen rape probe against WikiLeaks founder Assange | News

    Julian Assange is to be investigated.

  • Small lead for Australian opposition as election nears: poll | Australia News

    Australia‘s opposition Labor Party retains a.

  • Gunmen attack hotel in Pakistan’s Gwadar, kill five people | News

    Islamabad, Pakistan – Gunmen have stormed a.

  • India election 2019: Sixth round of voting under way for 59 seats | India elections 2019 News

    Voters in Delhi and elsewhere in.

  • Houthi rebels begin withdrawal from key ports in Yemen | Yemen News

    Yemen’s Houthi rebels have begun a.

  • Golf ball-sized hailstones and torrential rains hit southern US | News

    Hailstones the size of golf balls.

  • UN: Yemen’s Houthis to withdraw from Hodeidah port | News

    Yemen’s Houthi group has unilaterally agreed to.

  • Far-right protesters target Roma family in Rome | Far Right News

    Rome, Italy – Hundreds of Italian.