Why Indonesia election matters: Who will hold the reins of democracy in the country where the world’s largest number of Muslims live?

Why Indonesia election matters: Who will hold the reins of democracy in the country where the world’s largest number of Muslims live?


Indonesia has all the right ingredients to make it one of the most influential countries in Asia. But President Joko Widodo sticks to his long tradition of foreign-policy non-alignment and inward-looking policies. On February 14, the world’s third largest democracy will vote for a new leader. The favorite is Prabowo Subianto, a former general with a bad human rights record. Two other candidates, Anise Baswedan and Ganjar Prabowo, both former governors, are trailing Prabowo in the polls. With 205 million eligible voters taking part on February 14, Indonesia is set for one of its most consequential elections ever.

The absence of outgoing President Joko Widodo has heightened the competition, as voters vie for the presidency against a backdrop of youth dominance in the electorate. The survey is led by former military general Prabowo Subianto, whose campaign promises continuity in contrast to Jokowi’s initiative, which has grappled with past human rights allegations. Former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan stands out as a contrarian, advocating alternative priorities and questioning the status quo. The results of the elections will decide the direction of the country for years to come.

Some key figures on the election

204.8 million Indonesians are eligible to vote.

The number of presidential elections held in the history of Indonesia is 4.

The number of posts to be decided is 20,616.

18 parties are in the fray in the assembly elections.

258602 candidates are registered.

The minimum voting age in Indonesia is 17 years.

The number of hours for which polling stations will be open on election day is 6.

1.7 million Indonesians can vote from abroad.

The number of registered voters on the island of Java alone is 115.4 million.

The average viewership for each of the first four televised presidential debates is 94 million.

There are 580 seats up for grabs in the lower house of Parliament.



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