Former education minister Anies Baswedan won the election with 58 percent in an unofficial quick count.
The elections have been overshadowed by religious tensions as mass protests have been held against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the incumbent Christian governor in a Muslim-majority country.
Polls open at 7 am (0000 GMT) in what is expected to be an unusually close race between the incumbent, Purnama, the city's first Christian and ethnic Chinese leader, and a former education minister, Baswedan, a Muslim.
Data from sample polling stations suggests the race will enter round two, between incumbent governor of Indonesia's capital Basuki Purnama and Anies Baswedan. Purnama was charged with blasphemy months before the elections.
Some of Israel's right-wing politicians are hoping the US presidential election result will signal the end of a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
The most populous Muslim country in the world, with around 250 million people, has seen escalating religious and ethnic tensions ahead of Jakarta's 2017 gubernatorial election.
The United Nations cultural body passed a resolution which called Israel an "occupying power" and referred to Al Aqsa Mosque compound only by its Muslim name.
Members of the clergy, parents and anti-apartheid struggle stalwarts will mediate a process of consensus on Friday. The varsity is expected to resume classes in the following week.
A live stream by a primary school teacher of one of her lessons has provoked a national debate about language and cultural identity in Algeria.
Suicide blast targeting minibus in Kabul leaves 14 Nepalese security guards dead; another attack in Badakhshan province claims at least eight lives.
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