Indonesia Readies for Presidential Vote
Indonesia has entered the final stage of a three-day cooling down period before Wednesday’s national election, with officials removing political billboards across the archipelago amid a ban on election broadcasts after months of rowdy campaigning. The incumbent, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, made a brief trip to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, where he performed the umrah, or minor haj, with his wife and two sons, while his rival, Prabowo Subianto, made a pilgrimage to the grave of his father, Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, a renowned economist. The pair had squared off in five nationally televised debates, with most political pundits judging the contest about even, although Prabowo remains up to 20 percentage points behind in opinion polls. The Prabowo camp has already complained about “ghost voters” and the potential for rigging. But National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian told The Jakarta Post he had not received reports about incidents impeding the electoral process. “Two days to go; we are convinced that we have security measures under control,” he said. Kevin O’Rourke, an analyst with PT Reformasi Info Sastra, said there were still major issues with voter registration, despite this election being the fifth ballot since democratic reforms were instituted, following the downfall of President Suharto in 1998 and the outbreak of deadly protests. “Theoretically the system could be susceptible to people voting multiple times, but in practice it really hasn’t been a problem in past polls and I really wouldn’t expect it to be so this year,” he said. O’Rourke said Prabowo, following his defeat to Jokowi at elections in 2013, had launched a legal campaign challenging the result when he lost by six percent of the overall vote. “I think it’s an attempt by the Prabowo campaign to justify a basis for making an electoral dispute, but I think that’s only going to be feasible for... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Indonesia Readies for Presidential Vote, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 16 April
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