In what is being billed as the world’s biggest single-day election, Indonesians began voting on Wednesday to choose a new president and Parliament. Polling stations opened today across the equatorial archipelago following an election campaign which lasted for six months.
Former general Prabowo Subianto, who was defeated in the last election in 2014, is contesting against Indonesia’s incumbent President Joko Widodo, who entered politics nearly 14 years ago as a small-city mayor.
Prabowo had told a news conference late Tuesday that he expected to win with 63 per cent vote. “Even though there have been obstacles and anomalies, I believe, at the end of it, we cannot contain the will of the people,” Prabowo said on the eve of the vote.
The election is being viewed a testimony to the resilience of democracy after it defeated authoritarianism, nearly after two decades. Voting first began in the eastern province of Papua, which is two hours ahead of country capital, Jakarta. Nearly 350,000 police and soldiers will join 1.6 million paramilitary officers stationed across the country of 17,000 islands to safeguard the vote today.