Indonesia goes to polls to elect President

Indonesia kicks off one of the world’s biggest one-day elections today, pitting president Joko Widodo against ex-general Prabowo Subianto in a race to lead the nation.

More than 190 million Indonesians are set to cast a ballot. A record 245,000 candidates are running for public office in the world’s third-biggest democracy, from the presidency and parliamentary seats to local positions.

Opinion polls show Mr. Widodo is a clear favourite – but he faces a tough challenge from Mr. Subianto, who has leaned on a fiery nationalist ticket and warned he will challenge the results over voter-list irregularities if he loses.

The polls present a huge logistical challenge in a country stretching 4,800 kilometres across more than 17,000 islands with a population of more than 260 million, including hundreds of ethnic groups and languages. Official results are not expected until May.

The Hindu

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