In Indonesia, vote counting is well underway two days after 130 million voters cast their ballots in the country’s closely watched presidential election.
Preliminary counts give Joko Widodo, the populist governor of Jakarta, a narrow lead over his rival, former army general Prabowo Subianto. Official results will be announced July 21 or 22.
The eventual victor of Wednesday’s election will take the helm of one of the region’s brightest development prospects. A populous, resource-rich democracy, Indonesia has recorded robust growth since its emergence from authoritarian rule 15 years ago.
Notwithstanding Indonesia’s strong economic fundamentals, however, the country also continues to struggle with an assortment of complex development challenges — including rampant corruption and rising inequality. Nearly half of Indonesians live in poverty.