Polls have closed in Indonesia’s parliamentary elections.
The vote is a forerunner to a presidential ballot in July, which current leader, Democrat Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is tipped to win. However, early exit polls put his party neck and neck with the country’s Golkar party. The Democrat Party of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri also appears to still be suffering. She was slammed for failing to address corruption during her three years in charge. Golkar’s surprise surge could be a potential blow to Yudhoyono who has promised major reform to stimulate the economy if he wins. But a strong parliamentary majority is seen as essential. A massive logistical exercise across some 17,000 islands, voting was marred overnight when at least six people died in election-related violence in Indonesia’s Papua province. The ballot has also faced problems ranging from incorrect voter rolls to confusion over electoral procedure. Parties must win a fifth of the parliamentary seats before they can nominate a presidential candidate.