The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) decided to keep its doors closed on Wednesday (19/04) as the people of Jakarta will vote in the second (and final) round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election. Earlier, Indonesian President Joko Widodo had already declared Wednesday 19 April 2017 a public holiday for the citizens in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta. Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia stated that it will keep operations at a minimum on voting day.
The Jakarta gubernatorial election is a tight race between incumbent Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) and former education minister Anies Baswedan. The first round was won by Ahok but he failed to obtain the necessary absolute majority and therefore a second round is required.
Ahead of the first and second round, ethnic and religious tensions have been rising in Indonesia as the stricter Islamic communities within the country reject Ahok, who is a Christian of Chinese descent.
Hardline Islamic groups said they want to deploy dozens of observers at each polling station across Jakarta, most likely as a strategy to intimidate voters. However, Indonesian police said they will block such plans and emphasized that any form of mobilization of masses is prohibited. Authorities will deploy around 66,000 police and military personnel on Jakarta's voting day to safeguard public order as well as free and fair elections.
We do not see a high risk of violence on Wednesday - even in case quick count results point at an Ahok victory - because authorities will not allow the mobilization of masses. Indonesia Investments will follow all developments in Jakarta on tomorrow's voting day and make a live blog concerning all events, including the quick count results (these "quick counts" are expected to come in after 13:00 pm local Jakarta time).