Joko Widodo, the governor of Jakarta, has been elected Indonesia’s next president.
His common man image captured the hearts of millions throughout Indonesia, helping him win with 53.15 per cent of the vote. His rival Prabowo Subianto, whose reputation had been tainted by his actions as an army officer when some opponents of the government disappeared without trace, received 46.85 per cent. Both sides had claimed victory as the counting of votes dragged on over four weeks.
President Joko will commence his five-year term on October 20. Last night he said in a live broadcast that his success has been driven by the work of thousands of volunteers and signalled a “flowering of hope” in Indonesian politics.
“This is a victory for all Indonesian people. We hope it will pave the way to build Indonesia to be an independent economy,” he said.
“We have to be responsible again for ourselves, especially for our children and grandchildren; politics is about happiness, wisdom and freedom.
“An independent soul and sense of political responsibility blossoms in the soul of the new generation. Their enthusiasm, which had sunk into torpor, has returned.”
Mr Prabowo rejected the results as fraudulent and attempted to pre-empt the announcement by belatedly withdrawing from election. He walked out of the commission’s office before the announcement.
“There has been a massive, structured and systematic fraud,” he said. “We will exercise our constitutional rights by rejecting the presidential election because of its legal flaws and by retracting ourselves from the ongoing process.”
However, Mr Prabowo’s legal representative has confirmed that he will not challenge the result in the Constitutional Court, leaving Mr Joko’s victory final. – Compiled from internet sources by Paige Pollard
Top photo of Joko Widodo from US Embassy, Jakarta’s Flickr photostream.