Unofficial Indonesia election vote count shows early Prabowo lead

Prabowo Subianto, Minister of Defense of Indonesia

© APA | Prabowo Subianto, Minister of Defense of Indonesia

# 14 February 2024 12:38 (UTC +04:00)

Unofficial figures in Indonesia's presidential election showed Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto taking a clear early lead on Wednesday with 59.8% of votes, based on 23.3% of ballots counted in a sample of polling stations nationwide, APA reports citing Reuters.

Rivals Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo had 23.5% and 16.7% respectively, according to independent pollster Indikator Politik, among several private outlets conducting "quick counts" at the close of voting.

Counts by reputable pollsters have proven to be accurate in previous elections. An official result is not expected until several weeks after the vote.

The contest pits popular former governors Ganjar and Anies against the pre-election frontrunner Prabowo, a former special forces commander feared in the 1990s as a top lieutenant of Indonesia's late strongman ruler Suharto.

The world's biggest single-day election has included nearly 259,000 candidates vying for 20,600 posts across the archipelago of 17,000 islands, but the focus has been firmly on the race to replace President Joko Widodo, whose influence could determine who takes the helm of the world's third-largest democracy.

The early lead will be a boost for Prabowo, who has undergone an image rebrand and is contesting his third successive election after twice losing out to the hugely popular Widodo, who cannot run again.

To win outright, a candidate needs more than 50% of votes cast and 20% of the ballot in half of the country's provinces. If no candidate wins a majority, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held in June.