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Indonesia’s Joko Widodo hails victory as commission releases official vote count

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Indonesia’s Joko Widodo hails victory as commission releases official vote count

Victory

“I and Ma’ruf Amin (running mate) are grateful for the trust given to us,” Joko said at a news conference in a Jakarta neighbourhood on Tuesday.

“We will answer the trust by creating development programmes which are equitable and fair for all the people in every corner of the country,” he said.

Joko has promised improved universal health care, free job training for new graduates and more access to higher education for the poor.

The former furniture businessman, who was criticised for lacklustre performance on economic and human rights fronts in his first term, has vowed go all out in his second and final term.

The new president is scheduled to be sworn in on Oct. 20.

Joko’s rival Prabowo garnered 44.5 per cent in the April 17 presidential election, according to the final tally from the General Election Commission.

Joko’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) won the most votes in the legislative election, securing 19.3 per cent of the vote, according to the official count while Prabowo’s Gerindra party came second  with 12.6 per cent.

Both parties carry nationalist platforms.

The results confirmed quick counts from several pollsters released hours after the election.

Prabowo has said he will reject the results of the presidential election, accusing the government of rigging the vote in favour of Joko’s re-election and saying his campaign had evidence of widespread cheating.

The chairman of the election commission, Arief Budiman, said the Prabowo camp had three days to challenge the results at the Constitutional Court.

On Tuesday, Prabowo said he would mount a challenge.

“We will make every legal effort afforded by the constitution to defend the sovereignty of the people whose constitutional right has been denied in this election,” he told a news conference at his Jakarta house.

“I urge volunteers and supporters to maintain order and peace and that all actions are conducted peacefully and constitutionally,” he said.

The electoral watchdog, the Election Supervisory Agency, on Monday said the Prabowo campaign’s complaints of “massive and systematic fraud” were without merit.

The official results had been scheduled to be released on Wednesday, but were moved forward after Prabowo’s supporters threatened to hold a massive rally in front of the electoral commission’s building in central Jakarta.

Police said Friday they had foiled a plot by militants with ties to the Islamic State extremist group to detonate bombs using a remote control at an expected protest against the election result on Wednesday.

Police said they had seized five home-made bombs, detonators, an air rifle, five caches of bullets and a knife from the suspects.

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, has been hit by a string of attacks carried out by Islamist militants in recent years.

Police have arrested two prominent supporters of Prabowo, politician Eggi Sudjana and campaign member Lieus Sungkharisma, for threatening to demonstrate what they call “people power” on Wednesday over the allegations of fraud.

The government has dismissed the accusations, saying that the elections were free and fair, while acknowledging minor glitches in the counting process.

DCU

Edited by Donald Ugwu