Indonesians in the capital, Jakarta, have cast their ballots in an election to pick a new governor for the city, with early counts by private pollsters indicate a tight race between the Christian incumbent and his main Muslim rival.
His support slipped after the blasphemy controversy erupted but has bounced back and most recent polls show him in the lead, although if the vote goes to a run-off he is seen as likely to lose.
Political analysts had anticipated that the election would go into the second round due to the three-cornered contest - among incumbent Basuki Thahaja Purnama, Anies Baswedan and Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, and their running mates for vice-governor.
The Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU Jakarta) has announced that the runoff between the two most favoured tickets will be held on April 19.
Voters mark their fingers with ink after voting at a polling station in Jakarta on Wednesday.
"There has been a long decline of religious freedom in Indonesia", he said, adding that religion had been exploited in the run up to Wednesday's election.
Mr Purnama, or "Ahok", is the first Christian and minority ethnic Chinese leader of Jakarta in over 50 years.
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Baswedan said "Thanks be to God!" on hearing he looked on course to become governor of the megacity of 10 million - but Purnama, who has won support with his determination to clean up Jakarta, signalled he was ready for a fight.
Ahok, who has the backing of the president, was largely popular with Jakarta residents for his efforts to tackle corruption, traffic and vice, and to improve education and healthcare.
During the speech, Ahok referenced a Quranic verse, Al-Maidah 51, and told attendees they shouldn't fall for claims by religious leaders who use the verse to justify why Muslims should not be led by non-Muslims. If convicted, he would face up to five years in prison.
Large anti-Ahok protests led by conservative Islamic groups and an ongoing blasphemy trial cut into the governor's lead and turned the election into a broader power struggle between conservative and moderate forces in the world's largest Muslim majority nation and third-largest democracy. About 85% of the population are Muslim, but the country officially respects six religions.
If Baswedan defeats Ahok, it could be a boon to Prabowo, the former son-in-law of dictator Suharto, who has hinted that he'd like another crack at the presidency in 2019, and could act as a thorn in Jokowi's side by taking control of major infrastructure projects.
Most observers are warning that any run-off between Governor Purnama and Anis Baswedan could inflame religious tensions further.
A supporter of the governor of Indonesia's capital Basuki Tjahaja Purnama poses beside a poster of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama/Ahok and his deputy Djarot Saiful Hidayat in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 14, 2017.