Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Thursday he has won re-election after receiving an estimated 54 per cent of the vote, backtracking on an earlier vow to wait for official results after his challenger made improbable claims of victory, according to Time.com reports.
Widodo, after meeting with parties in his coalition, told reporters that the leaders of Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and numerous other nations have congratulated him on securing a second term.
The vote estimate is based on so-called quick counts of a sample of polling stations by a dozen reputable survey organizations. Widodo said that 100 per cent of sample polling stations have now been counted or close to that. The quick counts have been accurate in previous elections.
“We all know that the QC (quick count) calculation is a scientific calculation method. From the country’s experiences of past elections the accuracy is 99.9 per cent, almost the same as real count results,” Widodo said.
Widodo’s rival, former Gen. Prabowo Subianto, has claimed he won 62 per cent of the vote in Wednesday’s election based on his campaign’s own counts, repeating a similar claim when he lost to Widodo in 2014.
The Election Commission is required to release official results by May 22.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, is an outpost of democracy in a Southeast Asian neighbourhood of authoritarian governments and is forecast to be among the world’s biggest economies by 2030. A second term for Widodo, the first Indonesian president from outside the Jakarta elite, could further cement the country’s two decades of democratization.
Subianto, a strident nationalist, ran a fear-based campaign, highlighting what he sees as Indonesia’s weakness and the risk of exploitation by foreign powers or disintegration.
Widodo said he had sent a representative to talk to Subianto and his camp.
“This afternoon I have sent an envoy to meet Prabowo to set a meeting, and if people see our meeting, we will be able to show how the elections have ended smoothly, safely and peacefully,” he said.