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Indonesia Election: Joko Widodo Claims Victory, But So Does Challenger

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo. (photo: Kremlin.Ru)
President of Indonesia Joko Widodo. (photo: Kremlin.Ru)

Although the official result won’t be announced until May 11, early results indicate incumbent President Joko Widoo has won his bid for re-election.

On Wednesday, around 192 million Indonesians in 34 provinces went to vote in a hugely consequential election as they not only elected the country’s president and vice president but also legislative candidates at national and regional levels.

According to six pollsters appointed by the General Election Commission (KPU), the incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo – Ma’ruf Amin ticket is ahead in preliminary results with more than 53 percent of the vote. While the challenger ticket of Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno has so far won around 45 percent of the vote. As of April 17 at 10 pm Jakarta’s time, pollsters had counted between 92.1 percent and 98.9 percent of the vote.

The quick count is a verification method for election results by counting the percentage of a poll’s outcome at polling stations used as samples. Quick count data is not an official result as the General Election Commission (KPU) is expected to announce its official outcome from its manual counting on May 22 at the latest.

Based on the preliminary result of the KPU real count as of April 18 (at 7:30 Am), Jokowi-Maruf won 55.79 percent while Prabowo-Sandiaga 44.21 percent, as cnnindonesia.com reported.

The 2019 election was seen as a Jokowi-Prabowo re-match as both ran for the presidency in 2014. At that time, Jokowi and his running mate Jusuf Kalla (who was also a vice president for Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) won 53.15 percent, and Prabowo, who chose Hatta Rajasa as his vice presidential candidate, won 46.85 percent of the vote.

The unofficial result is not a surprise, as most international experts such as Peter Mumford from the Eurasia Group, a New York-based political consulting firm, said his side had anticipated such a result.

Greg Fealy, an Indonesian expert from Australia National University, said that Jokowi’s predicted win would bring a positive impact as the incumbent is working hard to boost the country’s economy by speeding up the development of infrastructure.

Jokowoi Challenger Prabowo Also Claims Victory

Challenger Prabowo Subianto held a press conference on April 18 in his house in South Jakarta, accompanied by Sandiaga. The 67-year-old former general claimed that his side had won the election based on a real count carried out by his team.

Prabowo also promised he will maintain a good relationship with Jokowi and Maruf. When asked about Jokowi’s plan to send an envoy to meet him, Prabowo only answered ‘not yet’ without elaborating in more detail.

Jokowi had stated that his friendship with his challenger will not be affected by the election result, adding that he would plan to send a special envoy to meet with Prabowo. It is still unknown who would be in the special envoy that Jokowi referred to.

The KPU called on all candidates and their supporters to remain calm and wait for the official result announced on May 22.

Hacking Allegations After KPU Website Crashes 

Rumors of election hacking spread when after the completion of the voting process, KPU’s website went down and Indonesians could not access the website to check the early count result.

“There are two main causes; the system that is still under construction and the increase in the website’s traffic,” said KPU’s IT volunteer M.Salahuddien in an interview with detikINET.

KPU Commissioner Pramono Ubaid Tanthowi also denied the allegations of hacking, saying that the increase in the number of the website visitors checking election results caused the site to go down.

Voter Turnout Exceeds Estimates 

Voter turnout was expected to play a heavy factor in the election. In the 1999 election, the first election after the end of the New Order Era, voter participation set a record high of 92.6 percent. In the first direct presidential election in 2004, the turnout dropped to 84.1 percent. In the 2014 presidential election, voter turnout hit 69.58 percent, while the legislative poll was at 72 percent.

Despite some technical and logistical hiccups in the election, Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security, Wiranto, said the turnout had increased. The participation in Wednesday’s election is estimated to reach around 80 percent, higher than the KPU’s projection of 77.5 percent.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, who also monitored the ballot process in some of the polling stations in Jakarta, echoed Wiranto’s statement.

“The average turnout is above 70 percent and 80 percent. People were enthusiastic about exercising their rights to vote for their representatives. Just wait for the result. Hopefully, everything is going on smoothly,” Baswedan told reporters, as SindoNews wrote.

The number of ‘golput’ – the Indonesian term for registered voters who do not vote or cast blank ballots – for the legislative election was higher (30.05 percent) than that in the presidential election (19.27 percent), as pollster Lingkaran Survey Indonesia (LSI) said. Voters tend to be more focused on the presidential candidates and presidential issues than their legislative races.

“I just focused on the presidential election as I don’t know legislative candidates representing my area,” Fitri, a  private employee, told citizentruth.org.

Marwan, a cab driver, told Citizen Truth that he decided not to vote. He was distracted by issues related to each candidate circulating in social media, which tended to divide Indonesians.

“Each pair has its positive and negative side. Sometimes I get confused with what I read online media outlets, social media, or what I heard from either my passengers or friends. I don’t know which information is accurate and which one is the false one. But I am excited to see what would happen in the poll and hopefully everything is under control,” he said ahead of the poll.

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Yasmeen Rasidi

Yasmeen is a writer and political science graduate of the National University, Jakarta. She covers a variety of topics for Citizen Truth including the Asia and Pacific region, international conflicts and press freedom issues. Yasmeen had worked for Xinhua Indonesia and GeoStrategist previously. She writes from Jakarta, Indonesia.

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