Indonesia’s biggest election under way as 193 million march to polls
Tens of millions of Indonesians have started voting for a new president and more than 20,000 legislative seats in the nation’s biggest – and one of the world’s most complicated – ballots.
In world’s third-largest democracy and largest Muslim-majority nation, almost 193 million Indonesians are registered to vote across 17,000 islands. On Wednesday morning voting kicked off at 7am local time in restive Papua. It will end at 1pm in Sumatra.
Voters are flocking to more than 800,000 polling stations where they will punch holes in ballots – to make clear their candidate choice – and then dip a finger in halal ink, a measure to prevent double-voting.
Indonesia: 193m people, 17,000 islands, one big election. Here’s what you need to know
It is first time Indonesia is holding simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections – a hugely complex logistical undertaking – but it is presidential race that has consumed much of the nation’s focus.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, a former mayor and furniture salesman from central Java, is up against the fiery nationalist and former army general Prabowo Subianto.
Prabowo, the former son-in-law of Indonesia’s longtime ruler Suharto, is running with Sandiaga Uno, a former private equity manager, while the president controversially chose Ma’ruf Amin, 76, a conservative Islamic leader, as his vice-presidential running mate.