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Indonesian presidential election opens

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 01:18

Indonesian voters flock to polling stations as presidential election opens. Natalie Thomas reports.

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Indonesians head to the polls to choose a new president. This is only the third time the world's fourth-most populous nation has directly elected their leader. And almost one in three voters will be under thirty. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) 37-YEAR-OLD VOTER, BERNARD WANANDI SAYING: "This is one of the most important elections in Indonesia's reformation history, as a young generation we have high expectations for the new leader, hoping he will bring the country forward and change the country tremendously." Opinion polls suggest this year's race is set to be a close one. It pits former special forces general Prabowo Subianto against Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo. Widodo has stormed his way to the top rungs of leadership with a clean image and a reputation for competence in local government. Prabowo is seen by many as more old-guard. He has ties to former autocrat leader General Suharto, who ruled the country for more than three decades. Outgoing president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on all sides to respect the outcome. Initial counts by pollsters should give an idea of who will be the next president soon after voting closes.

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Indonesian presidential election opens

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 01:18