JAKARTA: More than 190 million Indonesians are set to cast their ballots Wednesday in one of the world’s biggest one-day elections.
Voters in the Muslim-majority country will choose a new president, hundreds of parliamentarians and thousands more local officials at over 800,000 polling stations across the Southeast Asian archipelago.
Here are some key facts and figures about the April 17 polls in the third-biggest democracy behind India and the United States:
• The number of Indonesians, including some two million living overseas, who are eligible to vote out of a population of more than 260 million.
• The number of parties contesting the 575 seats in the House of Representatives, Indonesia’s lower house of parliament.
• Opinion polls have put incumbent president Joko Widodo well ahead of his sole challenger, ex-general Prabowo Subianto, in a re-run of the pair’s 2014 race, which Widodo narrowly won.
• The number of candidates competing for nearly 24,000 seats in legislatures at the provincial and district level across the world’s biggest archipelago nation.
The complex vote will happen over about eight hours, with voting to kick off at 7:00 am local time (2200 GMT Tuesday) in easternmost Papua and ending at 1:00 pm in Indonesia’s westernmost time zone, which includes the capital Jakarta.
• This is the first time that Indonesia is holding presidential, parliamentary and local elections on the same day. That presents a huge logistical challenge in a vast country that stretches some 4,800 kilometres (3,000 miles) from the tip of Sumatra island across Java and beach paradise Bali to remote islands in the eastern edges of its territory.
• The number of polling booths staffed by more than six million election workers. Elections officials use every means possible to get ballot boxes to voters in mountain-top villages, deep in the jungle and on remote islands. They transport them by jeep, boat, on horseback and even by foot.
• Voters make their choice by piercing a hole in the ballot paper next to a candidate’s name. Then they dip their finger in indelible ink to make sure no one votes more than once.
• A series of “quick counts” are released by pollsters hours after voting. These unofficial tallies have in the past accurately predicted the final results, which are expected in May.
• The number of police and soldiers, plus 1.6 million civil protection force members, that will be deployed to safeguard the election – or about two million people in all. --AFP