Jakarta, Apr 17: Incumbent president Joko Widodo is on course to winning a second term in office after the world's biggest one-day elections took place in Indonesia on Wednesday, exit polls showed.
Jokowi and his running mate Ma’ruf Amin are leading by 55 per cent to rivals Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno's 45 percent, say pollsters Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting, Cyrus and Charta Politika.
Indonesians thronged 809,699 polling stations across the 34 provinces to cast their ballots. Reports said there had been a high turnout in the presidential and legislative elections.
The elections in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation made up of 17,000 islands are the biggest, most complex one-day polls in the world. More than half of the voters are aged 40 or under in what is the world’s third-largest democracy after India and the US.
Officially a secular country, Indonesia is nearly 90 percent Muslim and has more Muslims than any other country.
The 2019 presidential race saw a re-play of the 2014 election in which President Widodo faced retired general Prabowo Subianto.
The vote is the world’s biggest direct presidential election (the US has an indirect electoral college system). Incumbent Widodo this time picked well-known cleric Ma'ruf Amin as his running mate, while Subianto paired with successful, young businessman Sandiaga Uno.
Pre-poll surveys show Widodo having a lead of up to 20 percentage points over Subianto.
Voters also chose from more than 250,000 candidates for 20,538 legislative seats at five levels of government over a period of just six hours. Indonesia’s elections are seen as relatively free and fair. Election observers from 33 countries have been invited to monitor the polls.
A young democracy, elections are a colourful affair, described locally as “pesta demokrasi”, or “democracy party”. UNI