Indonesian President Joko Widodo appeared to be heading towards a comfortable re-election on Wednesday, with estimates based on fast strokes sometimes credited him with a lead of more than ten points over his rival, former General Prabowo Subianto.
The polling institute CSIS gives it in mind with 55.7% of the votes on the basis of a count of more than 75% of the votes. Prabowo Subianto is credited with 44.3% of the votes.
The closest estimate made public by a polling institute gives the former general 5.5 points behind the outgoing president.
For political analyst Kevin O’Rourke, “the first results give a clear picture of the ballot”. “Widodo’s victory is not brilliant because it does not reach the psychological threshold of 60% that seemed within reach.” Prabowo has done better than expected, which could push him to represent in 2024 “, a- he said.
Prabowo’s entourage called for patience. “We will wait,” said opposition campaign spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, noting that the estimates were for samples that were too low.
More than 192 million Indonesians were called to the polls on Wednesday to nominate their president and renew the parliament after a six-month campaign that was dominated by economic issues and the growing influence of conservative Islam.
Before the poll, most polls gave the incumbent president an advance of more than ten points, but the opposition claimed that the duel would be tighter and, when voting in Bogor, his city south of Jakarta, Prabowo was said optimistic about the outcome of the poll.
Widodo, accompanied by his wife Iriana, voted him in the capital. “I feel reassured,” he said after voting, showing the press his right finger marked in indelible ink, a process to avoid electoral fraud.
His running mate Ma’ruf Amin called his compatriots to vote in peace. “The presidential election is not a war, but the quest for the best leader,” he said.
The organization of the vote was a logistical challenge, with the Indonesian archipelago spreading over 5,000 kilometers from east to west.
Each elector had to vote five times (for the president and his vice president, for both houses of Parliament, for regional and local assemblies). More than 245,000 candidates were involved in these different polls.
Aged 57, Widodo, who defeated Prabowo in the 2014 ballot, builds on his track record of deregulation and infrastructure improvement.
Moderate Muslim from the center of the island of Java, he had to insist on his report to Islam following a campaign to present him as hostile to the majority religion in Indonesia, communist and too close to China . The choice of Ma’ruf Amin, a Muslim dignitary of 76, for the vice-presidency is partly explained by this concern. Widodo also went on a pilgrimage to Mecca on Sunday.
Aged 67, Prabowo, a former special forces commander who is linked to some radical Islamist groups, has chosen an entrepreneur, Sandiaga Uno, to accompany him. They promise to promote economic growth by lowering taxes and lowering the price of food.
For the political scientist Dewi Fortuna Anwar, this election campaign has demonstrated the “instrumentalization” of Islam at work in recent years in the archipelago.
The last polls in the west closed at 1:00 pm (06:00 GMT). The winner of the presidential election could be known in the evening but the electoral commission has until May 22 to proclaim the results.