Counting is underway in Indonesia’s parliamentary election with early indications putting current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democrat party in the lead.
Despite polls giving him 20 percent of the vote, it remains unclear if his party will win the mandate it needs to bring in the major reform it has promised. That could force Yudhoyono to seek potential coalition partners, most likely Golkar, the former party of Indonesia’s dictator Suharto. Early exit polls give the ‘Democratic party of Struggle’ of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri around 15 percent of the vote. She has struggled to shake off criticism for failing to deal with corruption during her three years in charge. With the final result not known until next month the vote across 900 inhabited Islands has been a huge undertaking for authorities in a country plagued until recent years by political violence. Tensions already witnessed overnight when at least 6 people died in Indonesia’s Papua province. The ballot has also faced other difficulties including incorrect voter rolls and confusion over electoral procedure.