Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Indonesian Presidential Election

Last Wednesday, Indonesia came together to vote for their next president. Presidential terms are 5 years in length and serving Indonesia for the last 5 has been SBY (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono). Over 60% of the votes were in his favor and SBY was re-elected for a second term. I had the chance to accompany my host brother, Edwin to the polls for his first time to vote. Here you can vote when you are 17. It was really exciting to see how many people took the opportunity to vote. There were 171,265,442 voters and maybe more ...which is about 74% of the total population of Indonesia! How cool is that! What's even neater is that a lot of the people who voted are considered the uneducated peoples of Indonesia, but they still take their voting privileges very seriously. Each ballot has a picture of each presidential and vice presidential candidate, so even the pre-literate peoples of Indonesia can vote.

After each person votes by checking one of the pictures, the voters dips a finger into purplish-blue ink to show that he or she voted.

Like Edwin:

These are other photos that I thought were neat. I think they reflect a spirit of Indonesians that is strong and that desires to continue to see change brought to their country. SBY has done a good job at minimizing corruption and providing economic growth. And many are excited that SBY will be in office for the next 5 years. The following photos are from the Jakarta Post.

Prisoners' voices: A number of prisoners at Purbalingga, Central Java, show off their inked fingers after voting at the Purbalingga Penitentiary on Wednesday. JP/Agus Maryono

Voting from bed: Dina Sofia, a resident of Pondok Indraprasta in Semarang, Central Java, votes from Elisabeth Hopsital in Semarang on Wednesday after just giving birth.

Made their mark: Incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (second left) and his family show their ink-stained thumbs after casting their votes at a polling station near their residence in Nagrak village, Bogor, West Java on Wednesday. Unofficial quick count polls show he won majority of the vote.

Pole dance: Child dancers entertain voters at the Patuk voting booth in Yogyakarta on Wednesday.