After a tight, contentious race, Jakarta Governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo was elected Indonesia's seventh president with 53.15 percent of 130 million estimated votes. "This victory is a victory for all the people of Indonesia," Widodo, a former furniture businessman, told his supporters in Jakarta, Tuesday. Widodo is Indonesia's third president elected by direct vote; the country became the world's third-largest democracy just decades ago.
Widodo defeated Prabowo Subianto—a former general in his dictator father-in-law Suharto's regime—by six percentage points, Reuters reports. In the days following the July 9 vote, both candidates had claimed victory in the race.
The Jakarta governor is Indonesia's first president to have not come from a military background or belong to any political dynasty. Like millions of people in Indonesia, Widodo was raised in poverty. From the New York Times:
Mr. Joko is to be sworn in Oct. 20. He has pledged to bring more "people-centric" governance and policies to Indonesia, which despite being a member of the G-20 group of major economies has more than 100 million people living on $2 a day or less.
The victory represents a striking rise for Mr. Joko, 53, who was born and raised in a riverside slum area in the city of Surakarta, also known as Solo, in Central Java Province. He grew up to be a carpenter and later a furniture exporter before entering politics in 2005, where he was twice elected mayor of his hometown, then governor of Jakarta in 2012.
Subianto, meanwhile has contested the election results, accusing Indonesia's Elections Commission, called KPU, of committing voter fraud. From the BBC:
Mr Subianto told reporters on Sunday that if the Election Commission did not investigate possible voting fraud, that was a "crime" that "very much calls into question the legitimacy of the whole process".
He called on the Election Commission to delay announcing the result - a request the commission rejected.
The former general's campaign has said that they refuse to acknowledge the election results until allegations of cheating have been investigated.
[Image via AP]