Deputy leads count in Jakarta election

The deputy governor of Jakarta, Fauzi Bowo, held a commanding lead in vote-counting Thursday after the Indonesian capital's first-ever direct gubernatorial election.

Deputy leads count in Jakarta election
The deputy governor of Jakarta, Fauzi Bowo, held a commanding lead in vote-counting Thursday after the Indonesian capital's first-ever direct gubernatorial election.

Fauzi Bowo was leading rival Adang Daradjatun, a former national police deputy chief, by 57 to 43 per, according to an official at Jakarta Election Commission.

An unofficial quick count conducted by the Indonesian Survey Institute after polls closed Wednesday afternoon had Bowo winning with 56 percent of the vote.

"We have counted 3.4 million votes so far," Timbul Sitompul, an election commission official said, adding that counting could conclude late Thursday.

Wednesday had been declared a public holiday in Jakarta to encourage voters to head to the polling stations. There were 5.7 million registered voters, but turnout was low due to apathy among many Jakartans who doubted the election would bring real change.

The election marked the first time Jakartans were able to elect their governor directly since the central government approved a decentralization law in 2004 allowing hundreds of local elections across the vast archipelago nation, the world's fourth most-populous country.

Although Indonesia's Constitutional Court made a landmark decision last month allowing independent candidates to run in local elections, the registration date to stand in Wednesday's poll had already passed, leaving just two candidates.

Official results will be announced on August 16. Many say if Bowo is elected, he is expected to maintain the status quo, which critics charge means more corruption and little progress on social reforms.

DPA
Last Mod: 09 Ağustos 2007, 11:33
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