LIVE BLOG: Indonesian Presidential Election

Temans, thanks for sticking with us. We are having lots of problems with our server so for the moment, we’ll close up the live feed. Hopefully we’ll see you again later on in the evening for some closing thoughts.

 

17.43 Jakarta

Meanwhile Tempo is running a story called “Prabowo-Hatta wins in the corruption jail”, where the Prabowo camp claims that they have won the vote in a Bandung jail.

http://pemilu.tempo.co/read/news/2014/07/09/269/Prabowo-Hatta-Menang-di-Penjara-Khusus-Koruptor

17.42 Jokowi finished his speech thanking SBY for ushering in a free and fair and democratic process.

17.41 

I thank Prabowo and Hatta for their contribution to making Indonesia better and Indonesia’s democracy better. I believe that they will always seek to serve Indonesia.

17.39 Jakarta

Our job is to mobilise everything to make a more prosperous community

Our job is to guard this result until the KPU provides the formal count. I ask that the process is fair and free of intervention.

17.38 Jakarta Jokowi addresses his supporters. 

Our win is not a win for a party, for a success team, but for the whole community.

17.37 Jakarta

He calls for a new era for Indonesia and the Indonesian people. He says we want a better, smarter, healthier and more prosperous Indonesia. Today our new history is being written.

17.35 Jakarta

Jokowi is addressing his supporters at Tugu Proklamasi in Jakarta.  He says that the results of the quick count, a credible, accurate institution are out.

CSIS 53,

Litbang kompas 52,3

Indikator 52,6%

RII 52,5

LSI 53,3%

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Voters waiting in line in Tamantiro, Yogyakarta.

17.20 Jakarta time – Yogyakarta

Angie Bexley in Yogyakarta has observed that although at the provincial level, the votes appear to have swung the way of Jokowi-JK, many voting booths saw 50-50 splits between the two candidates and feel that their result is uncertain.

17.16 Jakarta time

Jokowi supporters are rallying around the city celebrating their candidates’ win. Meanwhile the media are asking how will Indonesia live through three weeks of uncertainty until the KPU certify the results.

16:55 Jakarta time – Prabowo’s statement

New Mandala’s Jacqui Baker was at Gerindra HQ to hear Prabowo reflect on Jokowi’s victory. Here is a translation of what he told supporters:

“We from the Merah-Putih coalition, have just monitored and gathered information that has come from the quick count from a number of survey institutions, and from those surveys that we use as references , we are grateful that from all the information that comes in, shows that we, number 1, Prabowo-Hatta have the support and mandate from the Indonesian community.”

[Clapping and shouts of  ‘long live Prabowo!’]

“And for that, we from the Merah Putih coalition say thank you to all of the Indonesain community for believing in us Number 1, Prabowo Hatta, the Merah Putih coalition. We are definitely waiting until all the data has come in and after 90% of the data comes in, only then will we declare our position and attitude.

“To our members who supported the Merah Putih coalition, and the whole community, we ask you to guard and protect these results until we get the formal results from the KPU and KPU central. Thank you. Assalamwalaikum.”

All we can say here at New Mandala is ‘watch this space’.

16:20 Jakarta time – we have a winner!

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Televised ‘quick counts’, based on samples of booth-level counts across Indonesia, indicate that Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla have been elected President and Vice-President of Indonesia, respectively.

We won’t go into detail about what this means for Indonesia, apart from saying that given the extent to which they were out-campaigned, outspent and out-organised by their opponents, this is a remarkable win for the Jokowi crew—and a relief to those who didn’t want to wait and see whether a Prabowo Subianto win would mean the rollback of democratic reforms. As one ANU observer said a short time ago: ‘we don’t have to do that experiment any more’.

It also ushers in a new chapter in a remarkable political career for Joko Widodo, who, just two and a half years ago, was a largely unheard of mayor of a small city in Java. We will have further reflections on what a Jokowi presidency may mean for Indonesia later tonight, tomorrow and the coming days.

However, his opponent is not going without a fight. Prabowo Subianto has also claimed victory based on quick counts conducted by pollsters hired by tvOne, a news station owned by one of his party backers.

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We will bring you a transcript of his remarks as soon as we get a chance to translate them. Prabowo seems determined not to make this easy.

16:05 Jakarta time

There are reports from the Gerindra camp that Prabowo is calling the victory. “We must protect this win,” he has told supporters.

Prabowo’s declaration is being backed by the Bakrie-owned TVOne.

15:15 Jakarta time

CSIS: @pjvermonte says based on quick count Jokowi got around 52 to Prabowo’s 48 per cent of the vote.

15:10 Jakarta time

The scene at Sumitro’s House.

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15:05 Jakarta time

New Mandala’s Jacqui Baker is at Sumitro’s House in Jakarta, where Prabowo’s Gerindra Party has set up shop.

She says “music is playing, but the atmosphere is decidedly depressed”.

“Hard men in Gerindra uniforms are looking sadly at the ground,” says Jacqui.

“Hatta left without making a statement. Fadli is saying that the difference is very marginal and in many provinces ‘they have won’.

“They will wait for the full results as a quick count in many places shows that they have won.

“So, they will wait until 22 July for the full results. ‘We are optimistic and we are sure we have won,” says Fadli.”

Meanwhile, someone starts singing Queen’s We are the champions sadly.

14:40 Jakarta time

Jokowi’s just given a victory speech.

And there’s dancing in the street outside a Jokowi volunteer office in Menteng.

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Meanwhile, a small crowd cheers Megawati for claiming victory on behalf of her candidate.

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14.35 Jakarta time

ANU, where New Mandala is based, is home to some renowned scholars of Indonesia. Here’s what a few of them had to say about today’s vote.

Professor Hal Hill, HW Arndt Professor of Southeast Asian Economies
“There are five clear economic challenges for Indonesia’s new administration. The nation’s macroeconomic policy achievements of the past decade need to be maintained while, in Joseph Stiglitz talk, globalisation has to be effectively managed for all Indonesians, and not just for the top 40 per cent of the population.

“With these two building blocks, the microeconomic reform agenda needs to be aggressively addressed to achieve the pro-poor growth that Indonesia urgently needs. A non-exhaustive reform agenda includes the following inter-related issues.

“First, the fuel and other subsidies need to be faded out. Second, Indonesia needs to address its looming severe infrastructure deficit. Third, more and better jobs need to be created. Fourth, Indonesia needs to bridge the gap between its political system and civil society on one hand and the largely unreformed civil service on the other. Fifth, policies need to be much more actively pro-poor, without sacrificing economic growth.

“Neither of the candidates has displayed an inclination to become a ‘reform champion’ in a way that would significantly lift the country’s economic momentum. In the short run, the best that can be hoped for is that enough of the policy setting adumbrated above will be maintained to ensure that at least five per cent growth is achieved.”

Dr Arianto Patunru, ANU Indonesia Project
“Both candidates have been making a call to look more inward rather than outward. So, neither would be as ‘international’ as outgoing president Susilo Bambang Yudhoynono. However, international relations are pragmatic relations. I don’t expect either candidate to be as nationalistic as they sound in the campaigns. Therefore, I don’t think there will be a dramatic change in relations between Indonesia and Australia.

“As for the economy, both candidates sound protectionist, though Jokowi is likely to be more pragmatic, given his experience as a businessman (as to his running mate Jusuf Kalla).

“One positive thing from this election is the high level of enthusiasm of the public at large. I take that as a sign of an increasingly vibrant democracy, albeit with its many challenges. So I have a high expectation that this election will serve as a tipping point for maturing the democracy in Indonesia.”

14:15 Jakarta time 

As the exit polls come in, it’s a good time to reflect on what a victory for each candidate may mean for Indonesia and the state of its democracy.

A Prabowo win would show that there is reason why political parties put so much money into campaign staffers, public relations professionals, advertisers and media managers.

It has worked brilliantly for Prabowo’s campaign. From a purely campaign point of view, full credit must go to Gerindra’s team, and to Prabowo for sticking to his main messages throughout.

Meanwhile, Jokowi’s campaign has been fractured, disorganised and erratic, without a clear message.

At the same time a Jokowi win shows that there is a ‘vacuum’ in Indonesia which he has stepped in to. Elections are also about the people, and trusting in the people to make the best choice (as they see it) for themselves. 
In the end we don’t know precisely how Jokowi’s policy platform will develop and take shape should he win. But most people believe that a win for Jokowi is powerful confirmation of Indonesia’s diverse and evolving democracy – he’s an outsider, he’s a pragmatist, and he is a reformist.

Jokowi and JK can’t cure Indonesia’s corrupt and often dysfunctional democratic institutions overnight but as Eve Warburton recently wrote for Inside Indonesia: “his previous record indicates the political will for slow and steady reform.

“A victory for Prabowo’s coalition would be powerful confirmation of oligarchic capture. Prabowo and Hashim cut their teeth in Suharto’s inner circle, and their nostalgia for that era is no secret – rather it has become part of their campaign message. Prabowo is making it increasingly clear he would sooner scale back, rather than improve, democratic institutions, like direct elections. Judging by the track record of Prabowo, Hashim and the powerful men who now stand by their side, we could assume that a Prabowo government will work to centralise and entrench, rather than reform, the business of politics in contemporary Indonesia.”

A Prabowo victory will also leave analysts with much to mull over – how did Prabowo manage to rise to such great heights in Indonesia’s democratic era?

Analysts may look closely at the role that business transactions and corruption play in Indonesia’s democratic institutions, and potentially the incredibly bias media coverage of the election campaign.

Of course there will be much reflection of the Indonesian ‘national psyche’ as well, and people will no doubt ask what Prabowo’s successful campaign messages tell us about the Indonesian electorate.

14:00 Jakarta time 

Enough of the pie. Let’s head to back the rice paddies. Here are some shots by our own Jacqui Baker who spent the morning with voters in Banten province.

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13.48 Jakarta time

Yum….pie. Here’s that CSIS prediction in a pie chart.

Piecharts

But remember; the problem with exit polls is large segment which declines to answer, for a number of reasons. Quick counts based on actual votes. Can’t wait for CSIS quick count press conference at 3pm.

13.40 Jakarta time

“The CSIS exit poll indicates that nationally, Jokowi-JK seems to have won the election,” says New Mandala’s Tom Power.

“They have Jokowi-JK at 45.17 to Prabowo-Hatta’s 42.15. The remainder of voters did not respond or kept their choice secret. Jokowi-JK are also on the way to victory according to Populi, which has a gap of almost 10% between the candidates with 20% of the vote counted.

“The one anomaly in the CSIS data that has been mentioned during the press conference is the fact that 29% of respondents claim to have voted for PDIP at the legislative election. PDIP only won 19% of the vote at the election. CSIS claims this reflects the tendency for voters to recall backing a winner, or to claim to have backed the winner.”

13.33 Jakarta time

And this is how they are reacting in Brazil.

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13.32 Jakarta time

Following are the full details of the CSIS exit poll:

Prabowo-Hatta listed first, Jokowi-JK second.

Banten: 39.3 – 38.1
Jakarta: 36.2 – 41.9
West Java: 53.5 – 39.1
Central Java and Yogyakarta: 32.6 – 56.9
East Java: 40 – 51.2
Kalimantan / Sulawesi: 37.3 – 51.
Sumatra: 45.24 – 35.7
Bali/East and West Nusa Tenggara/Maluku/Papua: 42.3 – 44.6

Margin of error = 1.1%

13.30 Jakarta time

At CSIS, analyst @pjvermonte tells media conference that exit polling suggests Jokowi-JK win.

13.25 Jakarta time

Prabowo says today’s vote should be respected, but… “we’ll see”.

Last night, Indonesia’s Channel 32 interviewed former presidential spokesman for President Abdurrahman Wahid and now a fervent Jokowi supporter, Wimar Witoelar, and Prabowo campaign team leader Viva Dewi.

The broad ranging interview touched on what course of action each side may take if their side didn’t win.

Here’s how each interviewee answered.

Dalton Tanonaka: Last question for both of you. If your candidate does not win, what will happen on Thursday morning?

Viva Dewi: We’ll see.

Wimar Witoelar: That is ominous. That is frightening. What do you mean, “we’ll see”?

Viva Dewi: Well, we’ll see. I think we’ll gonna see, so nothing will happen.

Wimar Witoelar: If Jokowi loses, we will all go back to work. We have no threat of any disruption; it is just an electoral process. We have submitted a clean candidate to the nation. If the nation votes for the not-so-clean candidate, so be it. We will not protest. I keep hearing this ominous saying: “Losing is not an option. We will not lose.” That is frightening, isn’t it?

Viva Dewi: Well, I think everybody is saying that. But I think Prabowo asks us to play it cool. I think we understand that. I think the media change everything.

Dalton Tanonaka: Nice to blame the media. We are just the messengers. Well Wimar Witoelar, Viva Dewi, thank you for coming in. 

13.15 Jakarta time

Down at @Populi_Center, exit polls showing slim Prabowo lead; first quick count returns from East showing the same.

PopuliCentre

Press conference on the Exit Poll about to kick off at @CSISIndonesia

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13.10 Jakarta time

ANU professor Greg Fealy has told ABC Radio Australia that whoever wins today, Australia’s relationship with Indonesia is going to get trickier.

” I think it’s going to require the Australian Government to rethink its approach to Indonesia. And it’s going to have to factor in the likelihood that a future Indonesian government will be far less inclined to forgive Australia any of its sort of domestically driven, political policy initiatives towards Indonesia,” says Fealy.

“Neither of the two candidates in the current presidential election in Indonesia are as statesman-like and both of them have a far more overtly nationalist agenda.”

Listen to the interview here.

12.55 Jakarta time

Here’s an update from the back alley of Bendungan Hilir, Jakarta Pusat from Ray Yen.

“I’ve visited around 12 polling stations here now. Most of them have a total voters of 400-700, and almost all of them have around 60% completion as of 11:30.

“Some of the polling stations are located in schools or large fields, which made the voting process much smoother than the majority of the polling stations located in small alleyways.

“Other polling stations are so hidden that it took me quite a while to find them – two little girls offered to help guiding me to them. For some unknown reason, one polling station – number 19 – chose not to keep count of the total number of voters that have casted their votes.

“When asked about how many people have voted, they seem taken aback, and was only able to give a rough guess. It’s worth noting that a significant number of the Jokowi-JK witnesses are women, whereas all the witnesses from the Prabowo-Hatta camp I’ve seen so far are men.

“All the former are wearing Jokowi’s iconic chequered shirts, whereas the witnesses from Prabowo camp are less consistent (a small number of them are wearing white shirts with black peci).

“The atmosphere in Benhill is just as friendly and cheerful as Tanah Abang, if not more.

“There was a lot of friendly bantering between KPU officials and the voters – I saw one girl put up Jokowi-JK’s Salam 2 Jari, and one KPU official, with a broad smile, asked her to do it outside of the polling station. She laughed.”

And here’s some more great shots from Ray.

photo1 photo2 photo5 photo6 photo10 photo14 photo16 photo18 photo19 photo20

12.45 Jakarta time

Doing the morning rounds in Tanah Abang, Power and Altmeyer encountered armed police patrolling between voting stations and a number of soldiers equipped with riot gear in buildings near Bunderan HI. At the polling stations, the vote seemed to be proceeding smoothly.

Partisan witnesses (‘saksi’) are considered essential to ensuring fair practice at the ballot box. At each of these polling stations, PDIP members served as witnesses for Jokowi-JK, and PKS cadres represented the Prabowo-Hatta ticket. PKS boasted among the most effective and rigorous polling station witnesses during the legislative elections in April.

In Tanah Abang, given its notoriety as a stronghold for vigilante organisations such as Forum Betawi Rempug – which openly supports Prabowo – it is no doubt important that conscientious witnesses are on hand to ensure a free and fair ballot.

Photos by Vera Altmeyer.

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12.30 Jakarta time

Vera Altmeyer from Roskilde University and New Mandala’s Tom Power spent this morning visiting polling stations in Kebon Kacang and Kebon Melati, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta. Central Jakarta proved difficult turf for Jokowi during the 2012 Jakarta Gubernatorial Elections: it was the only of Jakarta’s administrative municipalities in which he was outperformed by Fauzi Bowo. These polling stations are in the immediate vicinity of Pasar Tanah Abang, Southeast Asia’s largest textile market and a centre for small traders and street stalls, as well as Jakarta’s grey economy and the extortion rackets associated with it.

One of Jokowi’s hallmark reform projects involved the relocation of street traders into a renovated part of Pasar Tanah Abang. This has been a highly contested project, celebrated by some for significantly reducing traffic jams in the area, but damned by others as igniting conflict between local gangs and the Jakarta government. At the polling booth this morning we were told that the area is a stronghold for Prabowo, not least because many small-scale traders have been disappointed by the adverse effects of the relocation programme upon their income. 

Following are some great shots of the area from Vera.

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12.15 Jakarta time

During the presidential campaign we looked at how the work of academics can be used for political purposes. It seems as though ANU professor Edward Aspinall has been ‘quoted’ by vague forces in this campaign.

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11.55 Jakarta time

Metro TV reporting exit poll data. Prabowo at 40.4%. Jokowi at 43.8%

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Jokowi dominates in the countryside. Prabowo wins in cities.

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Support for Jokowi stronger among female voters.

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11.35 Jakarta time

So Jacqui Baker’s given us a taste of what to expect when the count comes in from West Java.

There are some other key battle grounds across this 17,000+ island nation in today’s vote.

Here we run the Google Earth over them and take a closer look at how they might help decide the outcome.

Eastern Indonesia
Eastern Indonesia is a big question mark. Prabowo has been campaigning there for years, and it’s long been a Golkar stronghold.

But given Jusuf Kalla’s influence in the region, it’s not a sure fire bet for Gerindra.

As Dominic Berger and Eve Warburton reported this week, out in the Eastern areas, where the candidates themselves have spent little time, local party politics and elite networks appear to be very influential.

In Southeast Sulawesi, the coalition parties, PAN and Golkar, are strong and are using their party machines and the local government bureaucracy to leverage votes for Prabowo.

Sulawesi-440

While Jokowi is popular in Southeast Sulawesi, and people are very proud of JK (he’s from Sulawesi), most observers here believe PAN and Golkar will bring home a lot of votes for Prabowo.

East Java is another interesting place given it’s a PKB and agrarian stronghold – Jokowi’s main voter base.

And yet, the anti-Jokowi smear campaign has been effective amongst religious communities there and there are rumours that the Demokrat provincial head is going to deliver the vote.

But for us, it really does come to West Java.

West Java-440

The election is always about Java because of the population. Jokowi was in West Java during the last week of his campaign because he knew he needed the votes from there.

During that time he said: “We’ve identified the problem of West Java [for our campaign] and that’s why we are here”.

Also,  parts of it are embedded to the point of being indistinguishable from Jakarta’s suburban sprawl, so they are keyed into the metropolis. Other areas are deeply agrarian overlaid with heavy industrialisation.

The 2014 legislative elections saw a mix between Golkar, PDIP and the Democrats gain seats but certain areas were divided between these parties nearly equally.

West Java voted Demokrat in the 2004 and 2009 last elections. But conservative Islam like PKS does well politically here, and the Jokowi campaign have struggled to hold events in the major cities of West Java. West Java is under no circumstances a sure fire Prabowo bet and that broad agrarian base will be attracted to Jokowi.

With 20 per cent of votes there, it could even be fair to say that where West Java falls so goes the nation.

11.25 Jakarta time

Of course there’s no way you missed this earlier, but showing solidarity with his running mate, Jokowi casts his ballot.

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11.20 Jakarta time

More from Jacqui Baker in the rice paddies:

“Out here you see some creative voting booths. One made out of bamboo and old rice bags, another from the old curtains of the wife of the RT.

“There are voting booths in peoples’ houses, on fields and next to the local shop. All have featured a village security guard, local officials dressed the part of bureaucracy and a bunch of laughing locals chewing the fat around the voting perimeter. They’ve all been visited by the roaming team of tni, police, and village secretary.

“If there’s a conclusion to be made from this tense, often bitter campaign, Indonesians out here on the agricultural fringe of Jakarta have managed the process with dignity and with their usual humour.

“That said a bunch of women just complained that no-one tried to buy their vote!”

What!? No ‘dawn attack‘?

11.15 Jakarta time

From earlier this morning; Jusuf Kalla casts his vote. (Does that count as alliteration?)

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11.04 Jakarta time

Let God decide? We knew this was going to be a tight one to call.

But facing the prospect of a tight race between Prabowo and Jokowi, some Indonesian Muslims are deciding to turn to God for guidance, writes Ray Yen. Read how here.

More from Jacqui Baker in Banten:

“Although neither side campaigned out here, those who voted Prabowo did so specifically because he acknowledged them by hanging posters and handing out t-shirts,” she says.

“Jokowi’s weak campaign machine has made him feel distant and arrogant, as if he doesn’t need to court votes.”

Among the rice fields of Rumpin, will Jokowi’s disorganised campaign means that he raps what he has sown?

10:20 Jakarta time

Far from the big city, Jacqui Baker points out the almost German World Cup-like efficiency of voting in Mekar Sari. 

“It’s just past 10am and the tps have seen 60 per cent of their voters come through. They’re waiting for the farmers to come in from the rice fields.”

BTW – this is a nice shot of Rumpin district, near-to where Jacqui Baker is currently.

Rumpin

10:15 Jakarta time

Our own Dominic Berger and Liam Gammon are at CSIS in Jakarta. 

“Data from the polling stations is pouring into the CSIS war room. Stay tuned for some early predictions,” says Dom.

Doesn’t he look excited!

Dom-CSIS

10:10 Jakarta time

Ward Berenschot, who recently wrote for us on ‘Red Fury in Lampung‘, has captured these stills of voters waiting in line to vote in Cilandak, Jakarta.

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10:05 Jakarta time

More from Jacqui Baker in Banten province:

“A joint monitoring team of village security, police and military turned up – but just took a bunch of selfies and went on to the next TPS,” she says.

The economy out here is sand and gravel mining and traditional farming. The men out here work for rp 50,000 per day to shovel, and thats on a good day. Its a heavily masculine industry of diggers and drivers. These guys are attracted to prabowo and the idea of a president tegas.

“The young men out here are mainly unemployed, can’t even get one of the digger jobs. They are dispossessed from the political process. Most of them voted for the rock band that supported the candidate. Slank’s support for Jokowi scored him lots of votes amongst this demographic out here.”

10:00 Jakarta time

Ray Yen has already been to six polling booths in Tanah Abang area. 

“Almost everyone was very welcoming. Many people were happy to pose for me (with ink on their fingers) after they voted. The atmosphere was friendly – some of the people working at the polling stations know the voters, so there’re a lot of chitchating and friendly bantering. I noticed two witnesses were wearing Jokowi’s iconic shirts, and people were fine with it.,” he reports.

Here’s another couple of shots from him setting the scene.

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09:50 Jakarta time

“Out here in Mekarsari, Bogor they saw very little campaigning,” reports Baker. “The Gerindra people dropped off campaign material but the roads are too bad for the party people to be bothered with events.

“The was no sign of camp Jokowi during the campaign season. A road was sealed and the Gerindra people claimed it was a gift to Mekarsari from Prabowo, but this was met with cynicism.

“However, there is a big voter turnout. This is as much because of the heat of the elections as it is because of the simplicity of it. Out here people were overwhelmed by the legislative choice and didn’t know the faces on the ballot.” 

09:45 Jakarta time

New Mandala’s Jacqui Baker is currently out in Banten province  a stronghold of one of Indonesia’s most notorious political clans.

“Sleepy here, women walking in sleepy groups towards the TPS. From their doorways women yell to passing voters ‘nomor 2 ya, nomor 2!’ And they laugh,” says Jacqui.

“Have asked around- no money came through the kampung, no directions to vote in either direction. No campaigning by the sekdes. Indonesians are voting with their usual humour and jovial style.”

09:40 Jakarta time

Got 90 seconds spare? Then you should check out ABC Australia Network’s excellent video primer on today’s vote!


09:20 Jakarta time

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This painting by Indonesian artist YS Hartono depicts presidential candidate Joko Widodo as a Soedirman – a military hero from the nation’s 1940s revolution. Over here, Virginia Hooker has cast her eye over how art is depicting this year’s presidential race. 

08:40 Jakarta time

Much has been made about Prabowo’s alliance with Islamic parties. But as Greg Fealy points out today, the alliance may not be as strong as it would seem.

“Many of his Islamic supporters, have not joined Prabowo out of personal allegiance or close identification with his policies.  Rather, he has presented them with the prospect of more tangible political rewards than has Jokowi and, for some, represents a less distasteful figure than his presidential rival,” says Fealy.

07:40 Jakarta time

Across Indonesia today some 500,000 polling stations will see citizens cast their vote for the country’s next President. ANU graduate Ray Yen has sent in a few shots from Tanah Abang area where he is waiting for a booth to open.

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Ray reports: “I am at the Tanah Abang polling station. There’s been a delay. They are still counting the ballots. Some people are already waiting here.”

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07:05 Jakarta time (WIB), 10:03 AEST

Indonesia Votes Red White

Welcome to New Mandala‘s live blogging of the 2014 Indonesian presidential election!

Polls are now open in Indonesia’s most populous islands of Java and Sumatra. Voting has been taking place in Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara and Papua for the past two hours (Indonesia stretches across three time zones).

We will be periodically updating the blog throughout the morning (Jakarta time a.k.a. WIB, Waktu Indonesia Barat) with scenes from voting booths and links to background information on the election to keep you occupied until the first exit polls emerge around 10:00 WIB. We will bring you these as soon as we hear of their results.

Not long after after polls close at 13:00 WIB (16:00 AEST), TV networks will begin broadcasting the results of so-called ‘quick counts’, which are based on counts in a sample of polling booths across the country. Quick counts are conducted not by the electoral commission but by private polling firms. Since they are based on a sample, quick counts necessarily contains a margin of error. This is usually not an issue in most Indonesian elections, but the latest opinion polling shows that today’s election will be unprecedentedly close.

There is a possibility that once the quick count data are all counted it still might not be clear which candidate has actually won. We won’t know whether we will know until the quick count data comes in, and if we don’t know today it may be a matter of waiting until the General Elections Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum; KPU) finishes counting all the votes and announces the ‘official’ result, which will take weeks. And that’s before the inevitable Constitutional Court cases to challenge the validity of the official results due to claims of fraud or irregularities.

In the meantime, we recommend taking a look at our own editors’ look back on how New Mandala has brought you the story of the 2014 elections, as well as reading @TomPepinsky‘s latest post which lays out what the most recent polling says about the state of the race.

Thanks for being with us!

the New Mandala Indonesia team