The two candidates battling it out for the presidency are the incumbent Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, and Prabowo Subianto, known just as Prabawo. These elections have centred around which candidate has the vision to turn the country into a global economic power and attract the young vote. And in a country made up of more than 17,000 islands and with a population of 264 million, this is no easy feat.
Both candidates are holding rallies across the archipelago in a final push before the cooling off period commences on April 14 ahead of the April 17 vote.
As it stands, surveys by independent poll sites are showing Jokowi in the lead and heading to a second five-year term.
But Prabawo has been closing the gap on the back of a promise to lower prices and increase trade with China.
Surveys have estimated about 10 percent of the 193 million-strong electorate remain undecided, and the candidates must now make their case to win them over.
Whoever wins will play a vital role in whether Indonesia reaches its potential to become the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2030, as projected by Standard Chartered.
Jokowi has the benefit of the past five years, which saw an average economic growth of five percent.
During his tenure his administration tackled higher fiscal deficits and ballooning energy subsidies to return the country fully to investment grade rating for the first time in two decades.
Indonesia also became Southeast Asia’s only economy in the trillion dollar club under Jokowi’s reign.
However, reliance on foreign imports, bureaucratic red tape and risks from trading partner China continue to pose challenges.
Jokowi, 57, has pledged to transform Indonesia into a manufacturing powerhouse with the fourth industrial revolution.
He’s also promising to generate more than 100 million jobs in the next five years, boost spending on education and pivot from infrastructure to human capital development.
Prabowo, 67, meanwhile, has less history to call on, but his pitch to take steps to end economic inequality, lower costs of staples and put an end to the transfer of the nation’s wealth overseas was increasingly finding resonance with voters.
He has pledged to fire up the economy by reducing corporate and individual taxes, and boosting self-reliance in food and fuel industries.
In their attempts to connect to younger voters, both candidates have had to sharpen their social media skills.
Here, Jokowi is leagues ahead, with 11.1 million Twitter followers to Prabowo’s 3.7 million.
Whoever ends up taking the vote, we’ll have a while to wait after the initial polling.
Results are expected to trick in between April 25 and May 22, with the inauguration set to take place on October 20.