Economy, conservative Islam in spotlight as Indonesia goes to the polls

Indonesia’s Widodo seems to be set for election victory – challenger says no

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo gave the impression set for a 2d time period as “fast depend” effects from Wednesday’s election rolled in, however his challenger claimed that he had received the preferred vote and steered supporters to not let his victory be snatched away.

Information from non-public pollsters in line with counts of vote samples had been in step with opinion polls that had predicted a win for Widodo, a former furnishings businessman and low-key reformist.

They confirmed him profitable the preferred vote with about 54 %, with a lead of between 7.1 and 11.6 share issues over former basic Prabowo Subianto, who used to be narrowly defeated when he took Widodo on within the remaining election 5 years in the past.

In earlier elections, the counts from respected corporations proved to be correct.

However Prabowo, a former son-in-law of army strongman Suharto who used to be overthrown in 1998, informed a information convention that – in line with inner go out polls and “fast depend” numbers – his marketing campaign believed his proportion of the vote used to be in a 52-54 % vary.

“We’ve famous a number of incidents that experience harmed the supporters of this price ticket,” he stated, with out giving element. “The reality will win.”

In 2014, Prabowo had additionally claimed victory on election day, ahead of contesting the consequences on the Constitutional Court docket, which showed Widodo’s win.

Widodo stated the consequences indicated he had regained the presidency of the arena’s fourth-most-populous country, however steered supporters to watch for the election fee to announce respectable effects.

Kevin O’Rourke, a political analyst and writer of the Indonesia-focused e-newsletter Reformasi Weekly, stated that Widodo’s re-election used to be now transparent however his victory over 67-year-old Prabowo used to be no longer resounding.

“He failed to score the mental 60 % degree that had appeared inside succeed in,” O’Rourke stated. “Prabowo carried out higher than anticipated, which would possibly embolden him to run all over again in 2024, if he’s sufficiently have compatibility.”

Widodo grew up in a riverside slum and used to be the primary nationwide chief to come back from outdoor the political and armed forces elite. Popularly referred to as Jokowi, his everyman symbol resonated in 2014 with citizens bored with the previous guard.


The eight-hour vote on Wednesday for each the presidency and legislature seats throughout a rustic that stretches greater than five,000 km (three,000 miles) from its western to jap guidelines used to be each a Herculean logistical feat and testimony to the resilience of democracy twenty years after authoritarianism used to be defeated.

The ballot adopted a marketing campaign ruled via financial problems however used to be additionally marked via the rising affect of conservative Islam on the planet’s greatest Muslim-majority country.

A senior executive respectable on the subject of the president stated ahead of the election win for Widodo with 52-55 % of the vote can be a “candy spot”, and sufficient of a mandate to press on with, or even boost up, reforms.

The respectable election effects is probably not revealed till Might. Any disputes will also be taken to the Constitutional Court docket the place a nine-judge panel can have 14 days to rule on them.

Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto presentations his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling sales space all the way through elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

Greater than 10,000 volunteers crowd-sourced effects posted at polling stations in a real-time bid to thwart makes an attempt at fraud.

Alternatively, even ahead of the election, the opposition alleged voter-list irregularities that it stated may just have an effect on hundreds of thousands and vowed criminal or “other folks energy” motion if its issues had been neglected.

Ferdinand Hutahaen, a spokesman for the Prabowo marketing campaign, sought to assuage issues this might imply a violent reaction.

“Don’t imagine ‘other folks energy’ as a type of violence,” he informed newshounds. “There can be no burning, killing. We can see what sort of ‘other folks energy’ and revolution society needs. We don’t need battle on this nation.”

Prabowo’s supporters would march in central Jakarta after noon prayers on Friday, marketing campaign officers stated.


Analysts are looking to assess whether or not Widodo will boost up the wary reform time table of his first time period and open up extra spaces to international traders, and even attempt to unlock restrictive hard work regulations.

This may occasionally in part hinge on his skill to get regulations via a newly elected parliament and to tackle nationalist forces.

Widodo campaigned on his report of deregulation and bettering infrastructure, calling it a step to tackling inequality and poverty in Southeast Asia’s greatest economic system.

Slideshow (17 Photographs)

However faith has additionally been an element. Conservative Muslim teams were increasingly more influential.

Widodo, a average Muslim from Java island, needed to burnish his Islamic credentials after smear campaigns and hoax tales accused him of being anti-Islam, a communist or too on the subject of China, all politically destructive in Indonesia. He picked Islamic cleric Ma’ruf Amin, 76, as his operating mate.

Prabowo, a former particular forces commander who has hyperlinks to a couple hardline Muslim teams, and his operating mate, industry entrepreneur Sandiaga Uno, pledged to spice up the economic system via slashing taxes and chopping meals costs.

(Graphic: President Joko Widodo’s achievements –

Further reporting via Agustinus Beo da Costa, Maikel Jefriando, Tabita Diela, Kanupriya Kapoor, Jessica Damiana and Cindy Silviana in Jakarta, Tommy Ardiansyah in Bogor, Mas Alina Arifin in Bandar Lampung; Writing via John Chalmers and Ed Davies; Enhancing via Robert Birsel

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