The Jakarta Post
Despite all the doom and gloom -- from terror threats to communal conflict -- the regional elections ran peacefully across the nation, with some polling stations making headlines thanks to thematic decorations and hilarious costumes.
As many as 171 regional administrations were scheduled to hold elections, but two regencies in Papua had to postpone voting amid security concerns and other technical glitches.
In Cirebon, West Java, six polling stations in Dana Mulya village, Plumbing district, had to use reserve ballots after 2,467 ballots for the Cirebon regental election went missing.
Meanwhile, several polling stations in Pekanbaru, Riau, were inundated after the local committee failed to anticipate unexpected floods. Officials then transferred the stations to safer places and voting continued uninterrupted.
A festive atmosphere was also apparent at many polling stations across the country, with local officers using thematic decoration while wearing hilarious costumes to enliven election day. On Wednesday morning, videos and photos of polling stations adorned with themed decoration from Chinese-style villages to ghosts circulated on social media and made headlines in the mainstream media.
Among the most popular themes was the World Cup, as the world’s biggest soccer competition is well underway.
A polling station in Mejosari subdistrict, Malang, East Java, employed a restaurant theme with polling station officers wearing costumes and displaying assorted traditional snacks.
“This theme has a hidden meaning: we’re trying to remind voters to avoid money politics. You will spend all the money in five days but the impact [of your decision] will last for five years,” Mejosari polling station head Rendra Juli said on Wednesday.
By Wednesday afternoon, numerous pollsters revealed the presumed victors, particularly in major provinces such as West Java, Central Java, East Java and North Sumatra.
Six pollsters declared non-active Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil and his running-mate Uu Ruzhanul Ulum as the winner of the West Java gubernatorial election with around 33 percent of the vote, defeating three other candidate pairs: Sudrajat-Ahmad Syaikhu, Deddy Mizwar-Dedi Mulyadi and TB Hasanuddin-Anton Charliyan.
“We can conclude that Ridwan will win [the election]. The data verifies that Ridwan will be the next West Java governor,” Poltracking executive director Hanta Yuda said on Wednesday afternoon.
In Central Java, quick counts indicated that incumbent governor Ganjar Pranowo would extend his leadership of the province for another five years after easily defeating former energy minister Sudirman Said. Various pollsters revealed that Ganjar and his running mate, Taj Yasin Maimoen, have secured almost 60 percent of the vote.
Retired Indonesian Army general Edy Rahmayadi will emerge as the winner of the North Sumatra gubernatorial election on Wednesday, a quick count revealed.
In East Java, former social affairs minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa is leading the race, beating rival Saifulah “Gus Ipul” Yusuf, according to quick counts. A quick count by Kompas Research Center based on 95 percent of vote samples at 4 p.m. showed that Khofifah and her running mate Emil Dardak had won 53.74 percent of the vote. The Gus Ipul-Puti Guntur Soekarno pair trailed with 46.26 percent of the vote.
In North Sumatra, Edy and his running mate Musa “Ijeck” Rajekshah led the race as the pair garnered 59.1 percent of the vote, while rival Djarot Saiful Hidayat and running mate Sihar Storus followed with 40.9 percent, according to pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting, whose vote sample reached 88.67 percent as of 4:15 p.m.
In Makassar, South Sulawesi, which set out to elect the next mayor, quick count surveys indicated the sole candidate pair Munafri Arifuddin and Andi Rahmatika Dewi (Appi-Ciccu) were losing to an empty box. The quick count surveys conducted by Celebes Research Centre, Indonesia Voters Network and Indonesia Survey Circle show that the empty box had 53 percent of the vote against 43 percent gained by Appi-Ciccu.
Quick count results are not official, pending the vote count by the General Elections Commission (KPU). (gis/swd)
Apriadi Gunawan in Medan, Suherdjoko in Semarang, Rizal Harahap in Pekanbaru and Aman Rochman in Malang contributed to this story.