JAKARTA, Indonesia – Voting began in the election for governor of the Indonesian capital after a months-long campaign in which the monumental problems facing Jakarta took a backseat to religious intolerance and racial bigotry.
More than 13,000 polling places opened at 7 a.m. to accommodate the 7.1 million people eligible to vote. The election is one of dozens taking place Wednesday across Muslim-majority Indonesia.
Incumbent Gov. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, a minority Christian and ethnic Chinese, is vying against Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, who is the son of a former president, and Anies Rasyid Baswedan, a moderate now courting the votes of conservative and hard-line Muslims.
Ahok's chances appeared dashed after accusations of blasphemy led to criminal charges and his ongoing blasphemy trial but he has recently rebounded in opinion polls.