Indonesian presidency and more than 20K seats contested on polling day

World Today

Indonesian election commission workers wearing superhero costumes deliver ballot boxes for the upcoming general elections in Surabaya, East Java on April 16, 2019. – From sending ballot boxes by elephant in Sumatra to keeping voters safe in Papua’s rebel territory, Indonesia is pulling out all the stops for one of the world’s biggest one-day polls across a vast archipelago of 260 million. (Photo by JUNI KRISWANTO / AFP)

It’s an election unprecedented in magnitude. Indonesians head to the polls Wednesday to pick a new president and thousands of other leaders.

Unlike the ongoing vote in India, which is rolling over five weeks, Indonesia’s will unfold in just one day. CGTN’s Gerald Tan reports on what’s at stake for Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Indonesia’s 2019 presidential and legislative elections – billed as perhaps the most complicated single-day voting in history.

On Wednesday, 192 million eligible voters — spread out over more than 17,000 islands — are set to cast ballots in national and local races.

With roughly 40 percent of them between the ages of 17 and 35, this has become the election of the millennials.

And their options are staggering, with 245,000 candidates running for more than 20,000 legislative seats. The big prize: the presidential office, which is playing out like round two of 2014.

Incumbent President Joko Widodo again faces-off Prabowo Subianto, the former military general he beat five years ago. But because of the younger voter demographics this time around, social media is playing a crucial role.

The president and his challenger have millions of online followers. Widodo has 9.2 million on Facebook and 11.1 million on Twitter; Subianto with 9.7 million on Facebook and 3.7 million on Twitter.

They actively employ both platforms to spread their message. And that has largely revolved around Indonesia’s trillion-dollar economy. They promise job creation, poverty reduction, fewer imports and better infrastructure – to improve the lives of all Indonesians.