Indonesian vote in elections for regional leaders

JAKARTA: Millions of Indonesians voted Wednesday in nationwide elections for regional leaders in the sprawling archipelago.

More than 102 million voters across three time zones were eligible to cast ballot at more than 202,000 makeshifts booths, with the government deploying more than 192,000 policemen and 35,000 soldiers in order to ensure security for the first simultaneous elections in 34 of the country's 36 provinces.

Candidates are vying to become provincial governors, district chiefs and mayors. Only the capital Jakarta and the westernmost province of Aceh were not holding elections Wednesday. Jakarta will hold its governor election in 2017 while Aceh will pick its regional leaders in February.

Final results were expected later this month.

Indonesia, with a population of 246 million, is the world's the most populous Muslim nation although there are no fundamentalist parties.

Local elections had been held separately in each region, resulting in elections happening frequently in various parts of the country of 17,000 islands. The government decided to hold the simultaneous elections to save costs.

National police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti said the elections were running smoothly without any significant incidents.