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Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 15:30 UK

Indonesia leader set for poll win

Indonesian President and Democratic Party leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono places his vote, 8th July

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appears on course for re-election with a large majority, exit polls suggest.

They say he won about 60% of the vote in Wednesday's elections - enough of a margin to avoid a run-off in September.

Former President Megawati Sukarnoputri secured about a quarter of the vote, with Vice-President Jusuf Kalla in third place, the polls show.

The vote passed off peacefully across the country's thousands of islands.

A controversy over voter lists marred the run-up to the poll, amid claims that duplicate names and even the names of dead people were appearing on the electoral rolls.

Full official results are not expected for a week or more.

'Flaws'

Polls in Indonesia closed at 0600 GMT on Wednesday.

Extra police were on standby in the country's easternmost region, Papua, amid fears of a repeat of the recent violence linked to separatist groups.

A voter holds up her finger, marked with ink to show she has voted.
Voters had their fingers inked to show they had cast their ballot

However, no major problems were reported there or in the rest of Indonesia - a huge archipelago spanning three time zones and some 17,000 islands.

But Prabowo Subianto, Ms Megawati's running mate, denounced alleged flaws in the electoral register.

He said he did not believe the early count would reflect the final result.

'People's day'

This was only the second direct presidential election since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship in 1998, and about 170 million people were eligible to vote.

To avoid a run-off, Mr Yudhoyono needs more than 50% of the vote, and 20% in all 33 provinces.

"Today is the people's day," he told reporters after casting his vote in the town of Bogor, on Java island.

The 59-year-old former general was elected in Indonesia's first direct election in 2004, defeating then-President Megawati.

He has been boosted by the success of the economy and a corruption-free image, correspondents say.



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