Does Indonesia have the world’s most complicated elections?

Ballots 2019

(Arnaud Jaegers, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Emma Charlton, Senior Writer , Formative Content


How do you organize an election that spans more than 17,000 islands and hundreds of thousands of local candidates?

As voting concludes in the world’s third largest democracy, Indonesia, the scale of the operation is breathtaking. With parliamentary and presidential elections held on the same day for the first time, April 17 is one of the biggest single voting days the world has ever seen.

Two candidates are vying to become president: incumbent Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, and Prabowo Subianto, a former general of the Indonesian army. Jokowi pipped Prabowo to the top role in the 2014 vote, and if the polls are correct, looks likely to win again.

Elections are often an emotive topic, stirring up conflicting ideas about electoral law, religion, race, ethnicity and money. And they are logistically challenging for such large countries, requiring vast numbers of officials and tight security to uphold their integrity.

Indonesia is holding parliamentary and presidential voting on the same day.
Image: Statista

While India and the US have larger numbers of registered voters, they spread their voting process out over a number of weeks or months, leaving Indonesia with the most people voting on the same day.

The nation’s election commission, the KPU, operated more than 800,000 polling stations, manned by six million temporary election workers, with each station catering to as many as 300 voters, according to thinktank the Lowy Institute.

Image: Statista

Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world, and is growing, with the UN predicting the population will swell by 2050.

While this year’s elections will see no compulsory voting, the day is a national holiday, sometimes called a “festival of democracy” and data from previous elections shows consistently high turnout, roughly 70%, compared with around 56% in the 2016 US election.

The winner faces some economic challenges. While the nation’s economy is predicted to expand by more than 5% this year, it faces headwinds from trade tensions between its two largest trading partners: China and the US.

But the country has a youthful population wielding at least 100 million smartphones on its side, bolstering its tech start-up scene. Ride-hailing company Go-Jek is one of the most high-profile examples of Indonesian ‘unicorns’, or start-ups that reach a billion dollar valuation.

Globally, the nation ranks 45th out of 140 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, with room for improvement in all areas ranked, and particularly in innovation and labour markets.

Image: World Economic Forum

The result looks set to be the beginning of a policy journey for the victor.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Water pollution is killing millions of Indians. Here’s how technology and reliable data can change that

America’s student debt crisis explained

Volkswagen scandal update: “We want clarity fast, but it is equally important to have the complete picture”, Commission’s spokesperson underscores from Brussels

Growth is running out of steam. How do we prepare for the next crisis?

‘Highly explosive’ escalation of conflict and displacement across Syria’s Idlib, says top UN official

Time is running out to protect Africa’s forests

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

A new bioeconomy strategy for a sustainable Europe

Saudi Arabia, China, among 14 nations under UN human rights spotlight: what you need to know

China in My Suburbs

World Youth Skills Day: What you need to know for 2020

Can India reduce deaths on one hazardous road to zero? This group is trying

These are the regions where people have most faith in their schools

Do men and women really have different leadership styles?

We can solve climate change – if we involve women

“As long as we work together through thick and thin, more benefits can be delivered to the people of Eurasia”, China’s Premier Li Keqiang highlights from ASEM in Brussels

3 vital steps to a new gender equality playbook

New UN bullying report calls for ‘safe, inclusive’ schools for all children

Trade: EU and 16 WTO members agree to work together on an interim appeal arbitration arrangement

Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

Chart of the day: This is why we need to protect nature’s pollinators

Iran: BBC and other broadcast journalists harassed; families threatened – UN experts

5 things you need to know about water

To Brexit or not to Brexit: British exceptionalism doesn’t allow any Obama telling Brits what to do

3 steps to boost your digital safety while working from home

What can smallpox teach us about how we’ve managed COVID-19?

EU: Huge surplus in the trade of services with the rest of the world

Concern rising over fate of Rohingya refugees sent home by India: UNHCR

Why this moment could be decisive for tackling climate change: Report

New phenomena in the EU labour market

This start-up is 3D-printing an entire neighbourhood in Mexico

This is how countries compare on gun deaths

EU Council: Private web data to be protected by…abusers

Deeper reforms in Korea will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

Italian divers just rescued a whale caught in ‘ghost’ fishing nets

Why a multi-stakeholder approach is essential to our risk resiliency

Good grub: why we might be eating insects soon

New European frontiers for renewable energy development

Latest leaked TTIP document confirms EU sovereignty may be under threat

4 ways 3D printing can revolutionize manufacturing

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate Change needs to be demystified”, Anneli Jättenmäki Vice President of European Parliament underscores from Brussels

Newly-elected Nigerian UN General Assembly President pledges focus on ‘peace and prosperity’ for most vulnerable

Yemen: ‘Living hell’ for all children, says UNICEF; Angelia Jolie calls for ‘lasting ceasefire’

UN global education envoy urges new funding for ‘lost generation’ of children forced out of classrooms by conflict

Will the EU ever tackle the migration crisis despite the lack of political will?

Missile strike kills at least 12 civilians, including children, in Syria’s Idlib: UN humanitarians

To solve the climate crisis, we need an investment revolution

Global migration, by the numbers: who migrates, where they go and why

Merkel: Nationalism and egoism must never have a chance again in Europe

UN-backed intercultural dialogue forum urged to keep working to ‘bridge gap between the like-minded’

Faith can overcome religious nationalism. Here’s how

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

Mergers: Commission clears E.ON’s acquisition of Innogy, subject to conditions

Don’t let smoking steal life’s breathtaking moments, urges UN health agency

How I met the Panda Woman

4 fixes for equipment supply chains before the next COVID-19 waves hit

Eurozone: Bank resolution proposal gains wider interest

‘Multiplicity’ of rights violations in Ukraine as fifth winter of conflict bites

London is planting a giant bee corridor to boost insect numbers

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s