Indonesia president declares poll win as rival does too, complaining of fraud
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday declared victory in a presidential election to lead the world’s third-largest democracy but his challenger also claimed he had won and complained of widespread cheating.
Unofficial results from private pollsters based on vote samples from Wednesday’s election pointed to a comfortable win for Widodo, with about 55 percent of the popular vote, giving him a lead of almost 10 percentage points over his rival, former general Prabowo Subianto.
The counts from reputable pollsters have proved to be accurate in previous elections, though the official result will not be announced until May 22.
Widodo told reporters he had received congratulatory calls from 22 state leaders, including Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and he had invited his rival to meet.
Widodo also urged supporters to wait for official results to confirm the win.
At a separate news conference just minutes after Widodo declared victory, Prabowo appeared defiant and said his team had evidence of cheating and claimed to have won 62 percent of the popular vote based on internal polling.
“We have declared (victory) because we got evidence of widespread cheating at the village, sub-district and district levels across Indonesia,” he said, standing next to his running mate, Sandiaga Uno, who looked more subdued.