Joko Widodo claims victory in Indonesian presidential elections

Agencia EFE
Jakarta, Indonesia Published: Apr 18, 2019, 06:19 PM(IST)

Indonesia president Joko Widodo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The president urged his supporters to wait for the official results, set to be declared in May.

The incumbent president of Indonesia on Thursday declared victory in the national elections held a day earlier amid opposition allegations of electoral fraud.

Joko Widodo claimed victory based on unofficial results in a televised press conference in Jakarta.

He said initial vote counts were a scientific method of calculating the results and they had been 99 per cent accurate in earlier elections.

The president urged his supporters to wait for the official results, set to be declared in May.

He told journalists that he had received congratulatory messages on his reelection from around 20 world leaders.

Widodo’s main rival, former military general Prabowo Subianto made a public speech claiming his own victory.

Seemingly targeting his conservative Muslim support base, Prabowo ended with three shouts of "Allah o Akbar" (Allah is great), significant in the country with the world's largest Muslim population. 

The former general said he had evidence that there had been attempts of electoral fraud in villages and cities across Indonesia.

Unofficial projections by pollsters showed that Widodo had received 54 per cent of the votes while Prabowo had secured 45 per cent support.

The Election Commission (KPU) said the elections were held without major problems, and analysts have largely agreed, citing the difficulty of carrying out electoral fraud to an extent that could alter results, due to the presence of observers and the supervisory methods in place. 

Both leaders appealed for calm in their speeches, although the former general had alleged irregularities in the electoral rolls during the campaign and threatened to go to the courts or mobilize "people's power" unless the issue is resolved.

Earlier on Thursday, Security Affairs Minister Wiranto had warned of strict action to counter any threats to democracy after the elections, adding that armed forces would arrest and "neutralize" those who indulged in actions that disturbed the peace and national security.

The president, popularly known as Jokowi, said in a TV interview that he had sent a member of his team to urge Prabowo and his running mate — entrepreneur Sandiago Uno — to help in pacifying the atmosphere.

More than 192 million Indonesians were eligible to vote in the third biggest democracy in the world, where the presidential and legislative elections were held simultaneously for the first time, with around 20,000 candidates in the fray. 

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