President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won a second five-year term on July 8, 2009, estimated to have garnered more than 60% of the votes, with former President Megawati Sukarnoputri and Vice President Jusuf Kalla trailing at around 27% and 13%, respectively.
Official results will be out in about a month, but already the Indonesians have accepted estimated election results with confidence.
Having gathered the lion’s share of the popular vote, Yudhoyono has avoided a September runoff.
The National Election Commission reported the preliminary figures based on more than 18.7 million ballots counted. The commission did not say how many ballots were cast in all. There were 176 million registered voters.
A final result is only due by the end of July, after all the ballots are transported to the capital Jakarta from across this vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and recounted.
Voting passed off calmly Wednesday. There were no reports of major incidents at roughly 450,000 polling stations across the country.
The campaign of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri on Thursday alleged that Yudhoyono's Democratic Party committed electoral fraud. They questioned the validity of quick counts after polling and threatened to contest the final results. Her camp claims it has found millions of fictional names on the list of eligible voters.
Election observers have not come forward with similar claims of election fraud. Nico Harjanto of the Center for Strategic and International Studies stated “"So far there is no evidence of systematic or massive fraud”, noting that even if all the contested votes were awarded to Yudhoyono's opponents, the president would still win.
In his first term, Yudhoyono effectively managed the economy, which is expected to expand by 4 percent in 2009 despite a global recession, and winning praise on the international stage for a swift crackdown on Islamic militants after a series of suicide bombings killed 240 people from 2002 to 2005.
Having gained the electorate’s support, he now has to manage the challenges of attracting foreign investment to improve Indonesia’s crumbling infrastructure, creating an independent judiciary and reducing poverty of up to 100 million people in his 2nd term.
AFP, Observers: Indonesian election free of tampering, 10 July 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gF4-e2dkH3lQqiqnRwq5jW...
Reuters, Indonesia’s election: faster, better … boring?, 8 July 2009, http://blogs.reuters.com/global/2009/07/08/indonesias-election-faster-be...
Business World Online, Lessons from the Indonesian elections , 13 July 2009, http://www.bworldonline.com/BW071309/content.php?id=141
Xinhua News, Indonesia to invite Asia's 50 senior officials to watch presidential election , 3 July 2009, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-07/03/content_11646145.htm