Jakarta governor wins Indonesian election

Election commission declares Joko Widodo as next president but main rival Prabowo Subianto calls election 'unfair'.

    Jakarta governor wins Indonesian election
    Jokowi and his vice president Jusuf Kalla will take office in October to serve a five-year term [Reuters]

    Joko Widodo, who captured the hearts of millions of Indonesians with his common man image, has been declared the winner of the country's presidential election with 53 percent of the vote.

    As a grinning Widodo, dressed in a traditional Indonesian patterned shirt, looked on, the election commission announced on Tuesday that he had beaten Prabowo Subianto by more than six percentage points in the fight to lead the world's third-biggest democracy.

    Widodo received 70,997,859 votes, or 53.15 percent of the nearly 133 million valid ballots cast, while his main rival Prabowo got 62,576,444 votes, or 46.85 percent.

    "I want to declare that we, the party that supports and puts forward Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla (for vice president), has won," party chairwoman and former president Megawati Sukarnoputri told a news conference just before the announcement.

    The news came after a dramatic final day to the country's most divisive election period since democracy was revived in 1998, with Prabowo angrily accusing Widodo's team of committing fraud and announcing his withdrawal from the presidential race.

    Prabowo had repeatedly claimed that polling firms with links to his campaign showed that he was ahead.

    Both candidates claimed victory on the day of the July 9 election, despite reliable polling agencies predicting a win for Widodo.

    Widodo, a former furniture exporter known to most as "Jokowi," is the first candidate in a direct presidential election with no ties to the former dictator Suharto, who ruled for 30 years before being overthrown in 1998.

    Jokowi will take office in October to serve a five-year term.

    Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen, reporting from Jakarta, said security was tight outside the election commission.

    About 3,400 policemen were deployed to guard the commission's building in Jakarta's town centre as commissioners and witnesses representing both sides finalised the vote count.

    To many Indonesians, Jokowi, 53, represents a clean break from the old elite that have clung to power.

    "Jokowi's the first genuinely post-Suharto figure (while) everybody else comes from that era, including Prabowo," said Paul Rowland, a Jakarta-based political analyst.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.