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Indonesian Elections 2024: Everything you need to know about the world's largest single-day poll

Indonesian Elections 2024: Everything you need to know about the world's largest single-day poll


This electoral cycle has been marked by controversies, particularly around fears of democratic backsliding in the country, which have raised questions about President Widodos' influence over state institutions to favor his preferred candidate: the frontrunner Prabowo.

Here are some key things to know about the candidates, parties and controversies leading up to the election.

A quick recap

After 10 years in power, Widodo must resign from office after serving the maximum two terms prescribed by the Constitution.

Widodo, better known as Jokowi, is Indonesia's seventh president and has maintained his popularity with the public, as evidenced by recent approval ratings of more than 70 percent.

Indonesian President Jokowis' popularity rating hits record high: poll

His tenure is often associated with an improvement in Indonesia's economic situation, with growth of around 5 percent per year, and a focus on developing the country's infrastructure. South East Asiathe country's first high-speed train, and laying the foundation for the country's ambitious $32 billion project capital relocation project.
But concerns have grown about its influence in infiltrating state institutions. In October, Widodos' 36-year-old son Gibran Rakabuming Rakawas allowed to run for the vice presidency, despite the minimum age requirement of 40, following a decision by the Constitutional Court.
This decision was led by the Indonesians superior judge and Widodos' brother-in-law Anwar Usman, provoking outcry from pro-democracy activists, academics and student groups. His criticism has become increasingly vocal over the political maneuvers, seen as an apparent attempt to extend his influence over Indonesian politics even after his term ends.
(L to R) Presidential candidates Ganjar Pranowo, Prabowo Subianto and Anies Baswedan after the first presidential candidates' debate on December 12, 2023. Photo: AP

The candidates

Widodos' son is running for vice president on Prabowo Subiantos' ticket, which earned the former defense minister the tacit support of the president and made him the favorite in these elections.

This is Prabowo's third time running for president, and he has made a friend of his former rival Widodo by positioning himself as a friend. Jokowis' manpromising to continue many of the president's popular policies.
He also abandoned his image of a strong man for that of a cute grandfather dancinga stark contrast to how some Indonesians remember him as a former military general accused of human rights abuses.

The ruling party's candidate, Ganjar Pranowo, who joined forces with former Security Minister Mahfud MD, is also largely committed to a policy of continuity.

Ganjar was initially seen as Widodo's successor, as they both belonged to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). But full approval from Widodos never came, and support for Ganjar waned.

Who are the three candidates vying to become Indonesia's next president?

The only opposition candidate is former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan, alongside Muhaimin Iskandar, who has close ties to Indonesia's largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, which has some 40 million members.

A former university rector, Anies was applauded for his work to improve Jakarta's infrastructure during his term as governor, but the brush with identity politics to get him the job also turned off some voters.

Opinion polls from last week put Prabowo just above 50 percent, with Anies coming in second with around 24 percent and Ganjar around 20 percent.

Observers said it is too difficult to say whether Prabowo will win the election in a single round, and that much will depend on voter turnout.


Indonesian Elections 2024: Will Indonesia vote in a political dynasty?

Indonesian Elections 2024: Will Indonesia vote in a political dynasty?

The Indonesian electoral system

Polling stations in the country's three different time zones will open at 7 a.m. Jakarta time and close at 1 p.m.

Although voting is not compulsory, Election Day in Indonesia is a public holiday, which likely leads to high voter turnout. In the 2019 elections, at least 81% of voters participated, according to the Indonesian General Election Commission.

Citizens aged 17 or older are allowed to vote. This year, 52 percent of registered voters are under 40, and nearly a third of all voters are under 30, so courting the youth bloc has been a priority for all three candidates.

Indonesians will elect a new president and vice president, as well as MPs and legislators for the roughly 20,000 administrative posts spread across the country.

Workers in Medan load ballot boxes onto a truck to distribute them to polling stations for Indonesia's elections. Photo: AP

Political parties must obtain a minimum of 4 percent of the vote to be eligible for the national parliament, while a presidential candidate needs more than half of the total votes nationwide and at least 20 percent of the votes in more than half of the country's provinces to be elected. ensure victory.

To provide early indications of election results, Indonesian polling stations use a quick count sampling method. If we rely on previous elections, the result of the new president of the country is expected on the evening of February 14.

If no candidate exceeds the threshold required to win the election tomorrow, the runoff will take place on June 26 between the two candidates who obtained the most votes in the first round.

Widodo is expected to officially hand over the presidency in October.




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