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A district employee carries a ballot box a day before distributing to pollings center in Bogor, West Java. Indonesia will hold its general elections on 17 April, during which the president, vice president, and legislative members will be elected. Adi Weda/AAP

Indonesia’s elections: why do they matter and what’s at stake?

Here is what you need to know about Indonesia's elections and what's at stake.
Benny Gantz, left, leader of the Blue and White party; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right. REUTERS/Amir Cohen, left; Ariel Schalit/Pool via REUTERS, right

The generals who challenged Netanyahu ran a campaign largely devoid of substance

They wanted to oust Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu in Tuesday's election, but the failure of three centrist generals to talk about key issues may have made Netanyahu the apparent winner.
Conservative lawmakers in dozens of U.S. states have raised fears that Islamic fundamentalists want to impose Sharia on Americans. Reuters/David Ryder

Don’t blame Sharia for Islamic extremism – blame colonialism

There is no inherent tension between Islam and democratic values. Like any use of religion in politics, the application of Sharia as law depends on who is using it – and why.

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