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Backgrounder: Indonesian presidential election
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16:03, July 07, 2009

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Indonesians will vote in the second direct presidential election on July 8, 2009 to choose the candidates for next president and vice president for the service period of 2009 - 2014.

More than 547,000 polling booths will be available for 176 million people across the archipelago country until the sub-district level on Wednesday (July 8).

The Indonesian General Election Commission (KPU), will commence the vote casting session at 8 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) in all polling booths in the country, which is divided into three time zones.

People in Indonesia's eastern time zone, such as in Papua, will cast their votes two hours earlier than in Jakarta that is located in the western zone.

The independent polling stations will team up with TV stations in broadcasting the live quick count program, which will provide an estimated result of the presidential election in the afternoon.

The vote casting process will officially end at 1 p.m. local time.

The KPU is scheduled to announce the official result of the presidential election within 30 days after the vote casting day.

The incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the Democratic Party will be challenged by Jusuf Kalla of the Golkar Party and Megawati Soekarnoputri of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) in the upcoming election.

This year's election will also see a brand-new procedure for the citizens to cast their votes. They can simply show their ID cards and other supporting documents to exercise their voting rights.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the votes from the July 8 presidential election, the KPU will set the second-round election scheduled on September 8.

The new Indonesian president is scheduled to be sworn in by People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), a higher institution, mostly composed of lawmakers by October this year.

The April 9 legislative elections resulted in a large number of seats for Susilo's party in the parliament at 314 of a total 560 seats available in it. PDI-P and the Golkar party seized 121 and 107 seats respectively.

Indonesian politics adheres to a particular presidential system that makes president the head of the state and the head of the government.

The president's power is strictly supervised by the parliament which represents the people through political parties.

Source: Xinhua

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