Indonesians vote in vast democratic exercise


Indonesias elections pit Joko Widodo, the first Indonesian president from outside the Jakarta elite, against Prabowo Subianto, a former special forces general from the era of authoritarian rule under military dictator Suharto.

Some facts and figures about Wednesdays elections:

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Nearly 193 million Indonesians are eligible to vote in the archipelago stretching across thousands of islands and three time zones.

The 810,000 polling stations have more than 1.6 million bottles of halal-certified indelible ink ready. Voters will dip a finger in the ink after casting their votes as an anti-fraud measure.

The Election Commission estimates more than 17 million people are involved in ensuring the elections run smoothly, including volunteers, guards and registered witnesses for every polling station.

About 20,500 candidates are standing for the presidency, the Senate and legislatures at the national, provincial and district levels.

Staging the election will cost about 1.9 billion.


After three decades of military rule ended in 1998, Indonesia has become the most robust democracy in Southeast Asia, a region where authoritarian governments and stage-managed elections are the norm.

But despite being the worlds most populous Muslim nation, the third-largest democracy and a member of the Group of 20 major economies, Indonesia has a low profile on the world stage. That is slowly changing, with the country recently becoming a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, announcing a bid to host the 2032 Olympics and analysts forecasting its economy to be among the worlds five largest by 2030.