Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Peaceful election day in Jakarta

Peaceful election day in Jakarta

In Indonesia, about 180 million eligible voters were welcomed to the polls today to elect representatives in the district, provincial and national legislatures. Polling booths were housed in schools, community centres and on residential streets. In South Jakarta, police and military personnel were absent from the polling stations I visited (at an Islamic high school, a Christian high school and in a neighbourhood leader's front yard). Diligent representatives of the General Elections Commission (KPU) watched over proceedings.

Voters searched through the extensive lists of candidates, registered to collect their ballot papers and made their selection by puncturing the name of the parties or candidates of their choice. Voting took place inside cardboard booths, and finished slips were deposited into secure ballot boxes.

After submitting their ballot papers, voters had their fingers dipped in ink to show that their vote had been cast. This let KPU representatives know not to let them back into the voting booth.

The day was declared a public holiday to encourage citizens to take the time to vote. Children had the day off school, with some accompanying their parents into the polling booth to see how the system works.

The results of the elections are due to be formally announced in early May. In the meantime, quick counts have Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) out in front, followed by Golkar and Gerindra.

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