Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is projected to win a second five-year term after the resources-rich nation of 248 million avoided the worst of the global financial crisis.
Indonesia’s $433 billion economy has skirted recession unlike its more export-oriented neighbours in the Southeast Asian region. Gross domestic product expanded 4.4 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared with a 6.2 percent contraction for Malaysia and Thailand’s 7.1 percent slump.
Indonesia is also one of only a handful of major economies - including China and India - which the International Monetary Fund expects to expand in 2009.
Yudhoyono is running against predecessor Megawati Soekarnoputri and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, and is widely expected to be the winner in this election after what many see as his successful 5-year term as president, in terms of Indonesia’s economic and political development.
Under his watch, the government has clamped down on Islamic terrorism and ended its civil war in the resource-rich province of Aceh. He has brought state spending under control and launched an anticorruption drive, landing a number of senior politicians and central bank officials in jail.
However, the other election candidates have increasingly criticized the irregularities of the voter polls, raising doubts that the elections will be fair.
Advisors to the Megawati camp have complained that the number of polling stations has been reduced by 69,000 without explanation. "We are afraid that they have been closed in our strongholds," says Hasyim Djojohadikusomo, an advisor to Megawati and brother of her running mate, former general Prabowo Subianto. The opposition is also worried that five million names have been added to voter lists, many of whom, they say, are doubles, underage and even dead.
"It is just days before the election and we have not received the election roll [voter list] as mandated by law."
Current Vice President Jusuf Kalla has also voiced concern over voter fraud.
Kalla and Megawati met at Muhammadiyah headquarters on Sunday evening and demanded that the General Election Commission (KPU) immediately repair the troubled electoral roll.
AFP, Indonesia's election candidates hold last rallies, 5 July 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h0r_IT0kUUdlFVuzz1CS7...
Bloomberg, Recession-Free Indonesia Set to Propel Yudhoyono to Second Term, 5 July 2009, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aUVcVJEhS020
Reuters, Indonesia's Megawati defends VP pick on rights issue, 3 July 2009, http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssIndustryMaterialsUtilitiesNews/idUSJA...
The Jakarta Post, Kalla, Mega demand repair to voter roll, 6 July 2009, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/07/06/kalla-mega-demand-repair-v...
The Wall Street Journal, Indonesia's President Looks Ahead as Vote Nears, 6 July 2009, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124682860201597129.html
Time, As Indonesia's Election Day Nears, Complaints of Fraud Grow Louder, 5 July 2009, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1908725,00.html
Xinhua News, Indonesia ready for presidential election: electoral commission , 30 June 2009, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-06/30/content_11625949.htm