President Assured of Reelection: Poll

JAKARTA ~ President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is on track to win reelection in the first round of presidential polls in July, a survey showed on Thursday.

The exit poll conducted by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) during general elections a week ago asked voters whom they would choose for president on July 8 from a field of six candidates.

A massive 53 percent chose Yudhoyono, a mild-mannered ex-general who has won plaudits for his economic management and tough line on corruption.

No other candidate even came close, with ex-president Megawati Sukarnoputri scoring 16.5 percent and former special forces commander Prabowo Subianto a distant third with 9.8 percent.

A second round of voting scheduled in September will be unnecessary if Yudhoyono can secure more than half of the votes on July 8.

If there were only three candidates, Yudhoyono would extend his share of the vote to 59.8 percent compared to 18.9 percent for Megawati and 7.7 percent for current Vice-President Jusuf Kalla.

Unofficial early counts show Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party won most votes in last week’s election, nearly tripling its tally to 20.48 percent from around 7.5 percent in 2004.

Megawati’s Democratic Party of Struggle gained an estimated 14.33 percent of the vote and Golkar, of Yudhoyono’s outgoing ruling coalition, was third with 13.95 percent, according to the LSI’s unofficial count.

The LSI polled 4,200 people across the archipelago for the survey, which has a margin of error of 1.7 percent.

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