Posted: Jul 22, 2014 4:20 AM EDT Updated: Jul 22, 2014 12:23 PM EDT
By NINIEK KARMINI and ALI KOTARUMALOS
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo, who captured the hearts of millions of Indonesians with his common man image, was declared the winner Tuesday of the country's presidential election, calling it a victory for all of the nation's people.
A former furniture exporter known to most as "Jokowi," Widodo was the first candidate in a direct presidential election in Indonesia with no ties to the former dictator Suharto, who ruled for 30 years before being overthrown in 1998.
"This is a victory for all Indonesian people," Widodo, who received 53 percent of the vote, according to the Election Commission, said in a televised speech. "We hope this victory will pave the way to build Indonesia to be an independent economy."
The other contender in the July 9 election, former Gen. Prabowo Subianto, declared he was withdrawing from the contest shortly before the final numbers were released by the commission, saying there was massive fraud during the election, and that it was unfair and undemocratic.
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"We reject the 2014 presidential election, which is illegitimate, and therefore we withdraw from the ongoing process," he said Tuesday.
Observers of the election said they were generally fair and free, with minimal abnormalities. Maswadi Rauf, a political professor at the University of Indonesia, said he saw no sign of significant fraud, as alleged by Subianto.
Subianto's rejection of the results "reflects the real attitudes of the elite, who are not yet ready to accept losing," Rauf said. "We are still in a transition to democracy, which is indeed not our culture. And what is happening indicates we are still immature, we need to learn."
There were no immediate reports of violence Tuesday. About 100 Subianto supporters held a peaceful protest about 300 meters (yards) from the Election Commission building in downtown Jakarta, chanting "Prabowo is the real president" and holding banners saying that the commission should stop cheating.
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Final results showed that Widodo, from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, received just under 71 million votes, or 53 percent of the more than 133 million valid ballots cast, while Subianto got 62.6 million votes, or 47 percent.
Voter turnout was 71 percent, down slightly from the 2009 presidential election, when it was 72 percent.
And the Jakarta wags weigh in:
I have been following the BBC, Jazeera and Reuters and have only just received news of the declaration which was eventually made at 20.00 hrs JKT time, two hours after promised declaration. No indication yet of any public reaction, or of any post-declaration reaction from the loser. It would go some way to resuscitating his reputation if he were to offer gracious acceptance. I never met Prabowo but his brother Hashim/Hasyim was chairman of “my” company’s JV so I met him many times at meetings and during VIP visits, etc. and he projected himself well without any sense of arrogance. But that was 20 years ago.
BTW I have attached a tabulation of US Presidential vote results back to 1900. The 6.3% superiority is strangely close to the McKinley/Bryan result of 1900, and more than eight of the 28 subsequent results. Not exactly a landslide but certainly a clear majority that even Mayhor Daly would have found difficult to fix.
May the presidential transition progress securely and in short, “Hidup Indonesia!”
Thank you T.
Regretfully people change. As I mentioned I know Prabowo relatively well. He came when my dad passed away . I went to his son ( with Titiek Soeharto)’s first fashion show in the Hotel du Crillon in Paris 3 years ago and met him there.
Prabowo’s chief assistant and deputy chairman in Gerindra, Fadli Zon, know me well. We met many times since his library in Jkt (financed by Hasyim) has a collection of my dad’s speeches, a few of which we don't even have in in my dad’s library.
Hasyim came with his father the late Pak Sumitro when the overseas trust bank (OTB ) in Hong Kong opened its representative office when I was the chief rep.
But I was surprised to see the arrogance of their attitude in recent interviews as compared to the Humbleness of Jokowi, whom I never met.
I think such is life . . . people change for better or worse.
Will be in touch
There it is, friends.
What does it mean for Aceh, cocoa farming, and continuing destruction of the rainforest? We shall see . . . but we will not hold our breaths.