Joko Widodo has been declared the winner of Indonesia’s highly contested presidential election.
The election commission said Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo – widely known as Jokowi – won 53.15% of the vote with his rival, ex-general Prabowo Subianto, on 46.85%.
Earlier, Prabowo Subianto alleged widespread electoral fraud and vowed to challenge the result.
Joko Widodo has promised a decisive break with Indonesia’s authoritarian past and better social welfare for the poor.
Before the official results were confirmed, the chairperson of Joko Widodo’s PDI-P party, Megawati Sukarnoputri, claimed victory on behalf of the candidate and his running-mate Jusuf Kalla.
“I want to declare that we, the party that supports and puts forward Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla, has won,” Megawati Sukarnoputri told reporters on Tuesday evening.
Indonesia’s politics has traditionally been dominated by establishment figures from the political elite and military.
Joko Widodo has been declared the winner of Indonesia’s highly contested presidential election
A former furniture-maker who grew up in a small village, Joko Jokowi, 53, is seen as a clean politician in touch with the masses. The Jakarta governor has proved to be particularly popular with urban and rural youth.
Joko Jokowi’s rival Prabowo Subianto is a former general closely associated with the traditional elite. He had the backing of media tycoons.
A former son-in-law of Indonesia’s ex-leader Suharto, Prabowo Subianto has faced multiple questions over alleged human rights abuses.
Jubilant supporters took to Twitter with congratulatory messages for Joko Widodo, using the hashtag #presidenbaru (New President).
Meanwhile about 100 supporters of Prabowo Subianto held a peaceful protest about 1,000ft from the election commission building in Jakarta, declaring Prabowo Subianto the real president, the Associated Press reports.
Prabowo Subianto said earlier on Tuesday that his camp would not resort to violence as it challenges the results.
Security was tight for the announcement, with more than 250,000 police officers on duty across the nation, amid fears that supporters from both camps would clash.
About 130 million votes were cast on July 9 following an intense election campaign.
It was followed by a controversial vote-counting period in which both candidates raised concerns about voting irregularities.
But Joko Widodo’s winning margin of 6% win is seen as decisive by analysts.
They say that even if Prabowo Subianto’s claim of electoral fraud in certain areas proved to be true, this would be unlikely to change the overall results.
Prabowo Subianto has three days to file an appeal with Indonesia’s constitutional court. The court has till August 22 to make a ruling on the results.
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Indonesia will name its new president, following a hotly-contested election that saw both candidates claiming victory.
Most “quick counts” after the July 9 election placed Joko Widodo, the popular Jakarta governor, in the lead.
However, his rival Prabowo Subianto, a former general under dictator Suharto, said other polls showed he had won.
The Election Commission has since been tallying votes. Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has urged both parties to respect the result.
Security will be tight for the announcement, with more than 250,000 police officers on duty across the nation.
There are fears the result could trigger violence between rival groups of supporters.
Both candidates, Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo, claim victory in Indonesia’s presidential election
Both candidates have raised concerns about voting irregularities during the past two weeks, as ballots from nearly 500,000 polling stations have been tallied.
Reliable polls point to a win for Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, by about five percentage points.
Official results from the sub-district and provincial levels that have been released so far also indicate Joko Widodo has won by between three and five percentage points.
But Prabowo Subianto’s camp have said they will not accept official results until allegations of cheating are probed.
Prabowo Subianto told reporters on Sunday that if the Election Commission did not investigate possible voting fraud, that was a “crime” that “very much calls into question the legitimacy of the whole process”.
He called on the Election Commission to delay announcing the result – a request the commission rejected.
The outgoing leader, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has called for calm, urging all Indonesians “to safeguard the final chapter of the election process”.
“It is important to value our unity, brotherhood and togetherness. When a nation is divided, to reunite is not easy,” he said at a meeting on Sunday with both candidates.
On Monday Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono – whose party backs Prabowo Subianto – also appeared to suggest that he should accept the results, saying: “Conceding defeat is noble.”
Candidates have two weeks to appeal to the constitutional court following the announcement of official results.
About 130 million votes were cast on July 9 following an intense election campaign.
The race has been seen as a contest between new and old-style politics. Joko Widodo draws his support from the grass-roots and is unconnected to the traditional elite.
Prabowo Subianto, meanwhile, is the son-in-law of Suharto and has faced multiple questions over alleged human rights abuses under his regime.
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Documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reportedly revealed that Australia’s intelligence agencies spied on phone calls of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and close confidantes.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the first lady and Vice-President Boediono were reportedly amongst those targeted.
The documents leaked by Edward Snowden were published by broadcaster Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Guardian newspaper.
Indonesia said Australia should “urgently” clarify the spying claims.
The report is the latest in a series of spying allegations that have strained relations between the two allies.
On November 1st, Indonesia summoned Australia’s ambassador amid reports that Australia’s Jakarta embassy was used as part of a US-led spying network in Asia.
The latest leaked document showed that Australia spy agencies named Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the first lady, Vice-President Boediono and other senior ministers as targets for monitoring, the reports said.
The presentation from Australian spy agency the Defense Signals Directorate (now known as the Australian Signals Directorate) showed that agencies attempted to listen to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s calls at least once, and tracked calls made to and from his mobile phone, in August 2009, the ABC and the Guardian added.
Australia’s intelligence agencies spied on phone calls of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and close confidantes
The news organizations published slides from the presentation, which appeared to show a list of Indonesian “leadership targets” and the handset models used by each target, as well as a diagram of “voice events” of the Indonesian president in August 2009.
One slide entitled “Indonesian President voice intercept (August ’09)” appeared to show an attempt to listen to the content of a phone call to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
On Monday, responding to questions in parliament, Australian PM Tony Abbott said: “The Australian government never comments on specific intelligence matters.”
He added: “I will never say or do anything that might damage the strong relationship and the close co-operation that we have with Indonesia, which is all in all, our most important relationship.”
Last week, commenting on the earlier claims, PM Tony Abbott had described the term spying as “kind of loaded language” and suggested that “researching” would be more appropriate.
On Monday Indonesian presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah, said: “[The] Australian government urgently needs to clarify on this news, to avoid further damage.”
“The damage has been done,” he added.
Indonesia has publicly voiced anger over previous allegations of Australian spying.
Vice-President Boediono, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name, said last week that the Indonesian public was “concerned” about the spying allegations.
“I think we must look forward to come to some arrangement which guarantees that intelligence information from each side is not used against the other,” Boediono said.
Australia and Indonesia are key allies and trading partners.
Australia requires Indonesia’s co-operation on the asylum issue, as many asylum seekers travel via Indonesia to Australia by boat, but there are tensions on the issue.
Earlier this month, Indonesia declined an Australian request to receive a boat of asylum seekers whose vessel, bound for Australia’s Christmas Island, had got into trouble after it departed from Indonesia.
The reports are amongst the series of documents leaked by Edward Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and is wanted in the US in connection with the unauthorized disclosures.
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