After a month of intense campaigning, Indonesians voted on July 9 to elect their first new president in a decade. Independent agencies are expected to announce a preliminary tally later Wednesday once all of the country's 190 million registered voters have submitted their ballots. Official results are due after July 21.
Recent polls indicated a tightly fought contest between candidates Jakarta governor Joko Widodo and former army general Prabowo Subianto. Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) said on July 7, that Jokowi and running mate Jusuf Kalla's electability stood at 47.8 percent compared to Prabowo's 44.2 percent.
Financial markets, businesses and government offices were closed on Wednesday for the occasion, which marks a milestone for the world's fourth most populous nation since former authoritarian leader Suharto was ousted in 1998.
Sentiment in Indonesian markets rose in preceding weeks, with both the benchmark Jakarta Composite and the rupiah rallying over 2 percent in the last two days of campaigning. Meanwhile, a private gauge of consumer confidence for June rose on the back of increasing confidence about the economy.
"Undoubtedly, there was a nationalistic tinge to the electioneering of both candidates and it is not surprising to find that the electorate has not been immune to the optimistic outlook for the future ," said Glenn Maguire, chief economist for Asia-Pacific at ANZ.
-Posted on July 9, 2014.