Jakarta, Widodo wins second term. Opposition will contest
The Electoral Commission publishes the official results of the April elections. There is a difference of 10% in votes between the incumbent president and the challenger Prabowo Subiato. The opposition denounces fraud: it will present a complaint to the Constitutional Court. The organizers of the "people's power" campaign say that today and tomorrow, more than one million people will take to the streets to protest.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The Indonesian president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (photo 1) gets his second term, after defeating his rival Prabowo Subianto in the April 17th elections. This was announced today by the General Electoral Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum - Kpu), ahead of schedule. The opposition refuses to recognize the defeat by denouncing fraud in the vote.
In the coming days, Subianto will appeal to the Constitutional Court. Meanwhile, the daughters of former Indonesian dictator Suharto and founding father Sukarno have joined the opposition to demand two days of mass protests starting today.
The Kpu should hadannounced the final count of the votes tomorrow. But the authorities' fears about possible riots and street demonstrations yesterday prompted officials to work all night. Arief Budiman (photo 2), president of the Commission, announced in a live video that Widodo and his vice-president candidate, Ma'ruf Amin, won the elections with 55.5% of the votes, against 44.5% of Subianto and Sandiaga Uno. About 85.6 million Indonesians out of nearly 154 million voters voted in favor of the current president.
Azis Subekti, a member of the Subianto campaign, refused to sign and validate the official election results. "We will not give up in our struggle against injustice, fraud and abuse," he said. Yesterday, the electoral agency rejected accusations of systematic fraud, citing a lack of evidence. Independent observers and analysts stated that the vote took place correctly and fairly. Nevertheless, Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, director of Subianto's legal team, said: "We will present a case to the Constitutional Court."
The authorities fear that the mass demonstrations announced by Subianto supporters may destabilize the country. Indonesian police have warned of possible attacks by terrorist groups. About 30 suspected jihadists were arrested in connection with a plan to hit the Electoral Commission. During the raids, security forces seized several improvised explosive devices and other bomb-making materials. More than 32,000 soldiers and policemen are deployed to guarantee public order in the capital alone.
Prominent personalities related to Subianto, such as the former Gen. Kivlan Zen and fundamentalist lawyer Eddy Sudjana, in recent days had threatened to resort to street protests against Widodo and the Kpu. Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, the least known of Sukarno's two daughters, and Titiek Suharto, Prabowo's ex-wife and daughter of former president Suharto, are also part of the movement, among whose ranks there are former army generals. The organizers of the "people's power" campaign say that from today more than a million people will take to the streets, but analysts and experts doubt that such a large number of protesters will join the protest. According to some, the movement could lose ground after the country's two largest Muslim organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama (Nu) and Muhammadiyah, have forbidden its members to participate.