TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s president-elect, has called for a national reconciliation after the election commission crowned him the winner of the July 9 election on Tuesday night, amid drama staged by rival Prabowo Subianto, who had not only rejected the official results during a televised press conference, but also removed himself from the electoral process, as reported by Antara News.
The General Elections Commission (KPU) officially announced on Tuesday that Joko and running mate Jusuf Kalla had secured the presidential race with 53.15 percent of votes, over opposing ticket Prabowo and Hatta Rajasa’s 46.85 percent. Some 133.5 million Indonesians, representing 70.2 percent of the country’s eligible voters, cast their ballots to choose their next leader.
KPU provincial tallies showed Joko-Kalla had claimed victory in 23 out of 33 provinces. Votes from the country’s newest and 34th province, North Kalimantan, were combined with those cast in East Kalimantan.
The KPU insisted the results were legitimate despite rejections from Prabowo, who had labeled the counting process “flawed” in a televised press conference and whose witnesses staged a walkout during the KPU’s plenary session finalizing the national tally.
Prabowo’s camp made the move after the KPU refused to bow to demands for a revote in more than 5,000 polling stations in Jakarta alone, citing irregularities.
Political and constitutional experts backed the KPU’s decision and the validity of its results, suggesting that Prabowo and his team go to the Constitutional Court — the only institution in Indonesia authorized to handle electoral disputes — to dispute the tally. Several experts, including law professor and former justice minister Yusril Izha Mahendra, went as far as to accuse Prabowo of breaching election laws by resigning from the electoral process before it was completed.
With the court highly unlikely to reverse the electoral results — given the large gap of more than 8.4 million votes — Joko looks set to become Indonesia’s seventh president after an inauguration ceremony scheduled for October 20.
“This victory is the victory of all people of Indonesia. We hope it will pave the way to create a politically dignified Indonesia, with economic self-sufficiency and cultural personality,” Joko said in his victory speech on board a traditional phinisi boat at Sunda Kelapa Port in North Jakarta, a few hours after the KPU announcement.
Despite numerous attempts made by the opposing camp to prevent his presidency, Joko graciously thanked both Prabowo and Hatta for being “our friends in the political competition,” and further addressed the rift in society after a highly emotional election season.
“This is the time to mend broken relationships. Forget about number one or number two; let’s return to a united Indonesia,” Joko said. “Let’s work together to develop Indonesia into a global maritime axis, a global civilization hub.”
ANTARA | HERU