Readers of this blog have already been treated to abundant cutting edge analysis of the political tensions that face Indonesia after the legislative elections of last week. Alternatively, on election day I decided to simply walk around with a camera to try to document the process from a street level perspective.
My only previous experience of an election in Indonesia happened while I was in North Maluku last year. On that occasion I witnessed an election day in which fishermen and stevedores rose early to vote for the future governor of North Maluku. The small island where I was living was deserted at dawn, people stayed in town to watch the counting of votes and then waited with their local candidate for the result. On that day the enthusiasm of a vigorous campaign translated into a firm resolve to vote and to do so early. Last week, in Jakarta, a no less vigorous campaign seemed to fizzle out into a very quiet election day.
The following pictures show a day when Indonesians took it easy; some voted, some stayed home, and we all enjoyed a macet-free day.
Eduardo Ramirez is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political and Social Change at the Australian National University.