Indonesian president projected to win re-election

Indonesian President Joko Widodo votes
(Image credit: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Indonesia held logistically challenging national elections on Wednesday, and unofficial preliminary results show President Joko Widodo on track for a second five-year term. The election was a rematch of the 2014 race, and Widodo, 57, is projected to beat 67-year-old Prabowo Subianto, a former general, by about 10 percentage points, according to "quick count" sampling from five independent polling groups. The "quick counts" have proved accurate in previous elections.

Widodo's projected victory is seen as a win for his relative moderation over Subianto's strident nationalism and fear-based rhetoric about Indonesia being weak and easy prey for China and other foreign powers. Both candidates had courted Indonesia's growing faction of religiously conservative Muslims; Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population, but freedom of religious worship is enshrined in its constitution.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.