Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is confident Indonesia's burgeoning democracy will be intact no matter who replaces him. He expressed satisfaction with peaceful legislative elections on April 9th.
"Our democracy is now becoming more mature. Our journey toward democracy is on the right track," he said after voting in Nanggrak Village in Bogor, West Java.
"If we can have peaceful and violence-free elections in 2004 and 2009, hopefully we will have it now as well. Elections are a time when we can choose our leader," he said. "Every citizen will have high expectations with this."
Democracy in action
About 75% of Indonesia's 186 million eligible voters participated in the April 9th election, up from 71% in 2009, according to the Jakarta Post, which cited a quick count conducted by Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Cyrus Network.
Voters across Indonesia visited 550,000 polling stations to choose members of the 560-seat House of Representatives (DPR), the 132-seat Regional Representative Council (DPD), and local legislatures.
"By voting today, we are also determining the national political parties that will compete in the next presidential election on July 9th," said Golkar Party Chairman and presidential candidate Aburizal Bakrie.
Ical, as he is known, congratulated Megawati Sukarnoputri, whose Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) took 19% of the vote. Golkar came in second with 14.4%, according to the Cyrus-CSIS count.
The Greater Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party came in third with 11.9%, followed by the ruling Democratic Party (9.6%) and the National Awakening Party (PKB) (9.3%). The General Elections Commission (KPU) will announce final results in the second week of May.
No party won enough votes to field a presidential candidate without forming a coalition.
Many praised the peaceful and orderly voting in the fourth national election since the New Order ended in 1998.
"I am glad that the 2014 legislative election went well, with no violence," said Jakarta resident Vera Hartini.
Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi said voters were energised to elect a new leader and bring about change in their country.
"People are getting smarter, and they are now more ready" to participate fully in Indonesia's democracy, he said.
Adrianto Wahid, a political science graduate student at University of Indonesia, described the scene on Election Day, which the government declared a holiday.
"I have seen thousands of people flocking to the different polling places. I see a lot of excitement," he said. "This moment is a good moment to re-energize our spirit and to appreciate the transitions in democracy."