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Reformer Widodo wins Indonesian election

Losing hardliner Prabowo quits, claiming fraud

AFP and ucanews.com reporters, Jakarta

AFP and ucanews.com reporters, Jakarta

Updated: July 22, 2014 03:56 AM GMT
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Reformer Widodo wins Indonesian election

Victorious candidate Joko Widodo (picture: Ryan Dagur)

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The reform-minded governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, has convincingly won Indonesia's closely fought presidential race against a controversial ex-general with deep roots in the era of strongman Suharto.

Widodo, who will be Indonesia's first president without some kind of link to the autocratic past, won 53 percent of the vote compared to 47 percent for his rival Prabowo Subianto, according to figures announced late on Tuesday night by the national election commission. 

The news came after a dramatic final day of the most divisive election period in the world's third biggest democracy.

With the official result of the Indonesian election just hours away from announcement, Prabowo announced his withdrawal, claiming that the process was tainted with fraud and vote-rigging.

“We, presidential and vice-presidential candidates Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa will use our constitutional right to reject the 2014 presidential election,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday in Jakarta.

"There has been a massive, structured and systematic fraud," he told reporters.

The election conducted by the General Election Commission (KPU) on July 9 was undemocratic and against the 1945 Constitution, he said. “As its organizer, the KPU wasn’t fair and open. It broke many of the rules it made itself.”

Regarding the fraud allegation, he cited irregularities at 5,000 polling stations in Jakarta province, as well as districts in Papua and East Java provinces where no voting took place at all.

“We, Prabowo-Hatta, are ready to win and to lose in a democratic and respectful way,” he said. “Therefore, to all people of Indonesia who chose us, we call on them to remain calm. We won’t keep silent and let our democratic right be harmed and seized.”

Muradi, a political analyst from the state-run University of Padjajaran in Bandung, West Java, said that Prabowo’s rejection and withdrawal was in fact harmful to the democratic process.

“This is embarrassing,” he told ucanews.com.

Prabowo’s remarks were delivered while the KPU was finalizing its recount at around 5.25 pm.

It was reported that in the final tabulation, in all 33 provinces, Prabowo-Hatta received 62.6 million votes while the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla partnership drew 70.9 million votes.

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