Indonesia’s incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appears to have won the country’s election. Initial counting suggests that he gained more than 60 percent of the vote, meaning there will be no need for a second round.
The former general was originally elected five years ago in Indonesia’s first presidential vote after the fall of the Suharto dictatorship. As in 2004, Yudhoyono seems to have beaten off the challenge of the former president Megawati Sukarnoputri. Her attempt to style herself as the candidate of the poor appears to have failed. She is predicted to have won just 27 percent. Trailing in third place is Yudhoyono’s former vice-president Jusuf Kalla, who fell out with his boss. Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population. More than 176 million people were eligible to vote across the country’s 17,000 islands. Despite claims of irregularities, there were few reported problems and the vote passed off peacefully. The outcome opens the way for more reforms in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.