[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Indonesia's Jokowi urges no poll celebrations

Jokowi's appeal comes after both he and his main opponent Prabowo Subianto declare victory in presidential race.

Last updated: 10 Jul 2014 15:42
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

After Indonesia's hotly contested presidential election ended with both sides declaring victory, front-running candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo called on his supporters to refrain from celebrating out of fear that it could incite violence by his rival's supporters while the nation waits for official results.

According to the three most reputable quick-count surveys, soft-spoken Jakarta governor Jokowi won the election in Southeast Asia's largest economy with 52 percent of the vote, but his Suharto-era opponent, Prabowo Subianto, said other data indicated he had won Wednesday's race.

Jokowi is the first candidate in an Indonesian direct presidential election with no connection to former dictator Suharto's 1966-1998 regime and its excesses.

"We appeal to the party's members and sympathizers, volunteers and supporters, you don't need to parade to celebrate the presidential election victory. It's better for us to pray and give thanks," Jokowi said late on Wednesday.

"We need to minimise frication that could arise." he added.

On Thursday, Jakarta's police chief warned supporters from both sides that any public celebrations in the capital would result in arrests, and that patrols will be increased.

How do Indonesia' s presidential candidates stack up on social media?

Natalia Soebagjo, chair of Transparency International's executive board in Indonesia, said it was reckless for either candidate to declare victory before the official results are announced. She said that the three most reputable quick-count results showed Widodo as the leader, and that she did not trust the surveys Subianto had cited.

"If this continues, I predict in the next 10 days we might see trouble," she said.

"They can contest it in legal terms and in social terms by creating unrest,'' Soebagjo added. ``It all depends on what these candidates really want. Is their thirst for power so great that they would want to fight it out to the death?"

It will be around two weeks before votes are officially tallied and the results announced in Indonesia, a country of 240 million people and the world's most populous Muslim nation. This was the country's third direct presidential election.

321

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.