Indonesians began voting in the world’s biggest single-day election on Wednesday as polling stations opened across the sprawling equatorial archipelago following a six-month campaign to choose a new president and parliament, ONA reports quoting Reuters.
The eight-hour vote across a country that stretches more than 5,000 km (3,000 miles) from its western to eastern tips is both a Herculean logistical feat and testimony to the resilience of democracy two decades after authoritarianism was defeated.
President Joko Widodo, a furniture businessman who entered politics 14 years ago as a small-city mayor, is seeking re-election against former general Prabowo Subianto, whom he narrowly defeated in the last election, in 2014.
The economy dominated the hard-fought campaign, though the rise of political Islam loomed over the contest in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.
Most opinion polls give Widodo a double-digit lead, but the opposition says the race is much closer and Prabowo told a news conference late on Tuesday that he expected to win with 63 percent of the vote.