HomeWorldIndonesia's president congratulates poll winner Prabowo, boosting market sentiment.

Indonesia’s president congratulates poll winner Prabowo, boosting market sentiment.

Indonesia’s Presidential Election Results Spark Celebration and Controversy

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo congratulated Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto after unofficial counts indicated his victory in the presidential election in a single round of voting. The ex-special forces commander’s running mate is Jokowi’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who is set to become the youngest vice president in Indonesia’s history.

Prabowo, 72, declared a “victory for all Indonesians” before jubilant supporters after quick ballot counts by independent pollsters showed he had won nearly 60% of votes. Indonesian markets rallied on Prabowo’s promise to follow Widodo’s policies, with the country’s stock market rising as much as 2.2% and the rupiah strengthening 0.3% to its strongest in a month before paring back gains.

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Prabowo’s rivals, ex-governors Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo, who trailed at least 33 points behind in quick counts, have alleged “systematic and massive fraud”, but have not provided evidence. Second-place rival Anies, who got 25% of the vote, has said his team would wait for the official results and respect the people’s decision.

The U.S. State Department said the election was “a testament to the durability and strength of the Indonesian people’s commitment to the democratic process and electoral institutions”. A preliminary tally by the General Election Commission put Prabowo in the lead with around 56% with about 40% of votes counted.

Prabowo has pledged to continue Jokowi’s efforts in various areas, including positioning the resource-rich economy as an electric-vehicle hub, extending infrastructure and social assistance, and creating millions of jobs. He has transformed his image from a hot-tempered nationalist and military hardliner to a more approachable figure, attracting a huge youth following on social media.

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While Prabowo’s supporters celebrated his apparent sweeping victory, others in Indonesia expressed caution and dismay. In an opinion piece entitled “Finally a Win”, the Jakarta Post noted Prabowo’s expected victory had come following a public outcry over alleged improper conduct by Jokowi in the election.

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