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Politics

Indonesians choose president, parliament in world's biggest one-day vote

Updated : 2019-04-17 10:24:44

Indonesians voted on Wednesday to pick a new president and parliament after a six-month campaign in the sprawling equatorial archipelago dominated by economic issues but also marked by the growing influence of conservative Islam.

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.

Most opinion polls give Widodo a double-digit lead, but the opposition says the race is much closer and Prabowo, dressed in a white shirt and a traditional Indonesian peci cap, said before voting in Bogor he was optimistic about winning with a big margin.

President Widodo, dressed in a white shirt and accompanied by First Lady Iriana Widodo, voted in the capital.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and first lady Iriana Joko Widodo show their ink-stained fingers after casting their ballots during elections in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and first lady Iriana Joko Widodo show their ink-stained fingers after casting their ballots during elections in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto holds up his ballot paper at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto holds up his ballot paper at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and first lady Iriana Joko Widodo cast their ballots during elections in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and first lady Iriana Joko Widodo cast their ballots during elections in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman carrying her child queues up at a polling booth to vote during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A woman carrying her child queues up at a polling booth to vote during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Voters queue up to vote at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Voters queue up to vote at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A voter casts his ballot at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A voter casts his ballot at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Supporters shake hands with Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Supporters shake hands with Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Voters queue up to vote at a polling centre during elections in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Voters queue up to vote at a polling centre during elections in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A voter's finger is dipped with ink after voting during elections in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A voter's finger is dipped with ink after voting during elections in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A man prepares election materials to be distributed to polling stations in Jakarta, Indonesia April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A man prepares election materials to be distributed to polling stations in Jakarta, Indonesia April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Workers prepare to distribute election materials to polling stations from a sports hall in Jakarta, Indonesia April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Workers prepare to distribute election materials to polling stations from a sports hall in Jakarta, Indonesia April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Workers move election materials to be distributed to polling stations from a warehouse in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Workers move election materials to be distributed to polling stations from a warehouse in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A worker carries election materials with a trolley to be distributed to polling stations from a warehouse in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A worker carries election materials with a trolley to be distributed to polling stations from a warehouse in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A voter casts her ballot at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
A voter casts her ballot at a polling booth during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
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