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Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has served the maximum two five year terms, was Indonesia's first directly elected president after the fall of longtime dictator Suharto in 1998.
furniture salesman 'Jokowi' leads Indonesia vote
A peaceful election would confirm the country's strong democratic credentials as it pursues continued economic growth and demonstrates how Islam and democracy can flourish together. Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim majority nation, and its government has cracked down on extremist groups.
Early results showed Joko "Jokowi" Widodo the ex furniture salesman ahead of Prabowo Subianto, a wealthy military man, with more than 80% of the votes tallied. The unofficial results of Wednesday's elections are considered reliable and a good indicator of what the official results will show when they are announced in about two weeks. But Prabowo party officials insisted the race was too close to call, setting up the prospect of a contested outcome.
The only democratic nations with larger populations are India and the USA.
Key issues, discussed at five televised debates, include the economy, fuel subsidies, corruption and agriculture. The official result will be announced July 21 or 22.
Prabowo, 62, former son in law of Suharto, is barred from the USA for human rights abuses committed when he commanded Indonesia's special forces.
Jokowi enjoys none of Prabowo's elite connections, yet he had been the front runner for several months.
Far behind in opinion polls in the spring, Prabowo's well funded campaign closed the gap by appealing to Indonesians seeking a strong leader.
Nearly 190 million people were eligible to vote in polling stations spread across Indonesia's more than 17,000 islands. The election marks the first time in the nation's democratic era that power will pass from one directly elected leader to another.
Wuryandari expects a changed nation after the vote. "I think Indonesia will be more confident as a country as Indonesia can prove to the world that it is becoming a strong democratic country with strong economic growth" and an Converse All Star Chuck Taylor Ox improving security environment, she Converse All Star Shoes Yellow
Born into poverty, Jokowi, as he's widely known, set up a furniture factory and rose through politics to become governor of Jakarta, the capital, in 2012. Campaign smears against him include allegations that he is an ethnic Chinese Christian. In recent days, Jokowi and his family reinforced his Muslim beliefs with a whirlwind pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
The vote pits the old guard against a new type of politician familiar in the West but unusual in Indonesia, where patronage and corruption have kept the same families in power.
While Prabowo presents "a general's vision" for Indonesia, Jokowi appears more a man of the people, said Ganewati Wuryandari, an international relations expert at Converse All Star Uk Mens
BEIJING A former general barred from entering the USA took on a former furniture salesman Wednesday in Indonesia as the nation went to the polls to pick a new president of the world's third largest democracy.
Indonesian Institute of Sciences in Jakarta. "The voters are polarized by two candidates with different backgrounds and different perspectives, which will influence their way of thinking and how to govern Indonesia," she said.
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