Thursday, May 28, 2015Thursday, May 28, 2015

Parliamentary polling closes in Papua, West Papua, Maluku & North Maluku

Published on Apr 9, 2014 12:07 PM

POLLING has closed in the easternmost time zone of Indonesia, spanning the provinces of Papua, West Papua, Maluku and North Maluku. 

Voting in the legislative election in that region began at 7am and ended at 1pm local time.

In the rest of the country, polling will end within the next two hours. Indonesia has three time zones. 

Jakarta governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo got an early start to his day when he turned up with his wife Iriana at his allocated voting station at 8am to vote. 

"I'm very confident my party will do very well...We will have a big majority," he told reporters. 

Mr Jokowi, who is presidential candidate for Indonesia Democratic Party - Struggle (PDI-P), visited party chairman Megawati Sukarnoputri at her home, before inspecting a few polling stations. He will await the results of the legislative poll at one of his party's election command centres on Wednesday afternoon. 

Gerindra leader and presidential aspirant Prabowo Subianto voted at around 9am local time at his Bogor polling station.

"We're optimistic we can get over 20 per cent of votes. We're confident because we've built a strong base of supporters - of farmers, fishermen, labourers, small business owners," he told reporters. 

Shortly before 10am, Golkar chairman and presidential candidate Aburizal Bakrie went to Menteng 2 elementary school to vote with his family. He told reporters he hoped Golkar would get 22 to 23 per cent of the popular vote and 27 per cent of seats in the national Parliament.

Some 186 million eligible voters in Indonesia are going to the polls to choose their representatives at four levels - MPs in the 560-seat national parliament, provincial assembly, district or city assembly, and the 132-seat regional representative council. 

They are voting at over 545,000 polling stations across the sprawling archipelago of 17,000 islands, from the highlands of Papua to islands off the coast of Aceh.

Over 200,000 candidates from 12 national parties are vying for a total of 19,699 seats. 

Wednesday's vote will also determine which parties will be able to put forth a pair of candidates for the July 9 presidential election. Parties must obtain at least 20 per cent of the seats in the national Parliament, or 25 per cent of the popular vote. 

The poll comes after 21 days of vigorous campaigning from parties and candidates, and three cooling-off days, which ended on Tuesday.

Counting will commence at 1.30pm local time, about half an hour after the polls close. 

Although official final results will not be released until early May, quick count results that give a fairly accurate indicator of how voters lean are expected within the next few hours.