Jakarta: Indonesia’s current President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has emerged as the leader in the general election vote count so far after the country went to the polls on Wednesday, according to projections based on first counts of votes.
Millions of Indonesians queued up outside voting booths to elect the next President of the world’s third largest democracy — a contest between Widodo and his long time rival and former Army general Prabowo Subianto.
Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, won 55.34 per cent of the votes in the world’s biggest single-day election while Subianto managed 44.67 per cent, according to projections based on first counts made by Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting firm, Efe news reported.
The General Elections Commission of Indonesia (KPU) estimated a 77.5 per cent turnout and the government declared Wednesday a national holiday to ensure maximum voting.
The Electoral Commission will officially announce the results in May.
Widodo, who became President on the promise of reform and by virtue of not belonging to the country’s political elite, prioritized social and developmental policies during his mandate.
Some 40 organizations have been recognized by the KPU to conduct vote projections after the preliminary results were out.
Widodo cast his vote in Jakarta shortly after Subianto cast his in a polling station in Bogor. After he left the polling station in the district of Gambir, Widodo told the media that he was optimistic about the results as he and his party had worked for the people.
Indonesian elections are one of the most complex in the world, as more than 190 million voters were called to vote at 800,000 polling stations to elect from 245,000 candidates for 20,000 posts in a single day.
Another two million Indonesians living abroad were estimated to cast their votes through postal ballots.
Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country, is one of Southeast Asia’s most consolidated democracies, and political analysts find little possibility of any large-scale manipulation during the voting process.
However, Subianto, a few weeks earlier had reported irregularities in the electoral lists and threatened to approach the Constitutional Court unless they were addressed.
Apart from electing the President and Vice President, voters had also cast their ballots to elect members of 575 seats of the lower house, 136 of the upper house, and nearly 19,000 seats in the provincial and municipal legislative chambers.