Jakarta, Indonesia – Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is well on his way to winning a second term as Indonesian President with quick scores showing a 10-point lead over his long-time rival Prabowo Subianto.
Jokowi, the former General Prabowo, had 55 to 45 percent of numerous quick counts from various election observers.
Jokowi said: "Let us be patient and wait for the official results of the electoral commission." However, Prabowo denied the preliminary results, claiming that his own quick count showed he won. He asked his volunteers to make sure that there are no fraudulent counts in polling stations.
Although the results are uncertain for weeks, the day went smoothly in Indonesia ̵
In Kebon Kacang, in the center of Jakarta, voters were split almost in the middle. Three of the six polling stations were won by Jokowi and his partner Amin, three by Prabowo and her vice-candidate Sandiago Uno. Jokowi-Amin received 713 votes over the six stations and Prabowo-Sandi 673 votes.
Kebon Kacang is located in Tanah Abang, one of the densest sub-districts in central Jakarta and home to major shopping malls.
Queues already started at 6.30am in Kebon Kacang (23:30 GMT on Tuesday). Voters chewed on roasted tofu or drank curry soup while they waited, and children ran and played, giving the area a festive feeling. It is not without reason that the Indonesians call election day a "democracy party".
"I've been here since this morning," said Ivone Whie, a follower of Jokowi. "I could not vote for 12 years because I was out of my home country, so I'm really looking forward to voting this year." Ivone was optimistic that Jokowi would continue as president, but Al Jazeera said with a laugh that both sides were confident.
"Regardless of who wins, I hope everyone will be satisfied and accept the results."
Prabowo's team has repeatedly stated that they will protest on the streets "if the election is stolen".
| Voters wait until it is their turn to register at a polling station in the center of Jakarta. "The important thing is that everything is peaceful," she said, adding that she voted for Prabowo-Sandi.
"Prabowo-Sandi will lower the price of staple foods," she explained, waving to a neighbor. "Lately prices have gone up," she said as the women sitting next to her nodded in agreement.
Lowering prices for everyday items such as rice and chillies was a major campaign promise from Prabowo-Sandi. No doubt religion has played a role, but only a handful of voters have called religion a reason for choosing a candidate.
"Too Much Emphasis on Religion"
Security analyst Judith Jacob said that too much emphasis was placed on religion in the 2019 elections.
"The role of religion, although important in these elections, It's just part of the story, "she said. "There has been a tendency among many commentators and journalists to bring together concepts such as religious piety, religious identity and religious intolerance and violence, as well as a very simplified and narrow definition of Islamism."
Jacob said that she believed the economy is a very important factor for voters, which reflects Juardini's concerns. "The weakness of the rupiah, concerns about economic growth and a growing current account deficit have given the opposition considerable criticism of the administration," said Jacob.
There were no major allegations of voting or fraud In the late afternoon, many had trouble voting throughout the country, and their names were not on voter lists or polling stations were empty.
"I'm really frustrated," said young voter Pipit to Al Jazeera, her official voter's letter in hand. "My letter told me to come to this polling station, but now they tell me that my name is not on the list and that [to vote as an additional voter] I have to wait until after noon." She is worried that they would run out of ballot beforehand.
Pipit and others finally made it at 12:30, just half an hour before the polls closed. Al Jazeera heard reports of similar problems across the country and voters left election offices in the cities of Yogyakarta, Bogor, Sumedang and Bekasi.
Enggi Dewanti, a South Kalimantan NGO worker who was on a working visit to Jakarta, eventually won the vote after the committee initially rejected it. "I could only vote for the president, but it feels amazing to be able to vote," she said. "Six of my friends can not vote now."
Voters are prohibited from wearing political features and taking selfies in the polling stations themselves, but outside many posed for photos and held their purple ink firmly finger in the air for the camera.
"I voted for Prabowo," said Moli, a middle-aged woman in a flowing black hijab, a headscarf worn by many Muslim women who believe it is part of their religion after taking it a selfie with her husband. "For a long time, I know who I wanted to vote for, I followed the advice of our religious leaders."
The elections in Indonesia are not only some of the biggest but also the most expensive in the world. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani reported that the government had earmarked 24.7 trillion Rupiah (1.75 billion USD) for the 2019 election.
One reason for the enormous costs is that both the presidential and parliamentary elections were held this year on the same day. Like the last elections, the day was called a public holiday to encourage higher turnout.
First-time parliamentary candidate Nadhila Chairanissa for the center of Jakarta said she hopes that people have made informed decisions for their legislative votes.
"I hope they [decide] are based on the background and the politics of the candidates to see if this candidate can really represent them," Chairanissa told Al Jazeera about WhatsApp. "And one should not be easily influenced by currency promises."
Many reports felt overwhelmed and confused about the number of decisions they had to make because they had to elect both presidential and parliamentary candidates
"I know none of these candidates, "said a woman to her friends as she read the list for the parliamentary elections in front of a polling station in Kebon Kacang. "We are confused who to vote for, there are so many."