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Indonesian President declares victory in polls

Jakarta, April 18 (IANS) Indonesian President Joko Widodo declared victory on Thursday in the national election amid opposition allegations of electoral fraud.

Widodo claimed victory based on unofficial results which said that he had received 54 per cent of the votes in the Wednesday election, while his rival and former military general Prabowo Subianto secured 45 per cent support.

Widodo said initial vote counts were a scientific method of calculating the results and they had been 99 per cent accurate in earlier elections, Efe news reported.

The President urged his supporters to wait for the official results, set to be declared in May.

He told journalists that he had received congratulatory messages on his re-election from around 20 world leaders.

Subianto also claimed victory during a public speech. He said he had evidence that there had been attempts of electoral fraud in villages and cities across Indonesia.

The Election Commission (KPU) said polls were held without major problems and analysts agreed, citing the difficulty of carrying out electoral fraud to an extent that could alter results, due to the presence of observers and the supervisory methods in place.

Both leaders appealed for calm in their speeches, although the former general alleged irregularities in the electoral rolls during the campaign and threatened to go to the courts or mobilize “people’s power” unless the issue was resolved.

Earlier on Thursday, Security Affairs Minister Wiranto warned of strict action to counter any threats to democracy after the election, adding that armed forces would arrest and “neutralize” those who indulged in actions that disturbed peace and national security.

The President, popularly known as Jokowi, said in a TV interview that he had sent a member of his team to urge Prabowo and his running mate – entrepreneur Sandiago Uno – to help in pacifying the atmosphere.

More than 192 million Indonesians were eligible to vote in the third biggest democracy in the world, where the presidential and legislative elections were held simultaneously for the first time, with around 20,000 candidates in the fray.

–IANS

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CanIndia New Wire Service

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