Indonesia on March 16 began a three-week campaigning period for its parliamentary elections, which are scheduled to take place on April 9.

According to the General Election Commission, more than 6,600 candidates are vying for 560 seats in the House of Representatives, as well as legislative councils at the provincial and municipal levels.

Indonesia has more than 186 million eligible voters, out of its population of 245 million.

Twelve political parties are contesting the elections, with attention focused on the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle led by former President Megawati Sukarnoputri and the Golkar Party.

Earlier on March 14, Megawati's party, locally known as PDI-Perjuangan, selected Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo to be the party's only candidate in the presidential election to be held in July.

This move is considered a decisive factor for the success of the party in both parliamentary and presidential elections as Widodo is seen to have succeeded in improving the life of poor people, building social welfare facilities and preventing social evils, particularly corruption in his posts as Jakarta Governor or Mayor of Solo.-VNA