Just a few hours after voting closed, Jakarta governor Joko
"Jokowi" Widodo said he had won, based on what are widely seen as
quick counts of more than 90 percent of the votes. A victory for him
would be seen as a triumph for a new breed of politician that has
emerged in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, and increase the
promise of reform in government.
But ex-general Prabowo Subianto, the rival candidate seen as a
representative of the old guard that flourished under decades of
autocratic rule, pointed to a quick count by other pollsters naming
him the winner.
He did not name the pollsters. Jokowi, on other hand, said he was
the winner from tolls by six agencies, many of which are regarded as
The quick counts are conducted by private agencies which collate
actual vote tallies as they come out of each district. The results
are not official, but quick counts by three non-partisan pollsters -
CSIS, Kompas and Saifulmujani - showed a Jokowi win. Their
predictions were accurate in the April parliamentary election.
The Election Commission will take about two weeks to officially
declare the results of the presidential contest and the new
president is not due to take office until Oct. 1.
A senior aide to Jokowi said the party would not take any action
like naming a cabinet until the official result is announced on or
around July 22.
"We've waited months. We can wait another 2 to 3 weeks for the
(Election Commission's) final verdict," Luhut Panjaitan told
The standoff is unprecedented in Indonesia, which is holding only
its third direct presidential election. In both the previous
elections, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, now the outgoing president, won
by a clear margin.
There have been concerns of violence once the result is known, a
worry alluded to by Yudhoyono's administration.
"For both groups of supporters related with the split quick count
results, we request they do not mobilise their supporters
excessively," said Djoko Suyanto, coordinating minister for legal,
political and security affairs.
There were no reports of any major violence. Around 250,000 police
officers were on standby across Indonesia, authorities said. It has
been the dirtiest and most confrontational campaign in memory in a
country which traditionally holds up the value of consensus
CLAIM AND COUNTER-CLAIM
Ahead of the vote, the two candidates had been neck and neck in
opinion polls as Jokowi lost a huge early lead in the face of smear
campaigns and a far more focused, and expensive, race for the
presidency by his rival.
"Today the people have decided a new direction for Indonesia ...
This is a new chapter for Indonesia," Jokowi told hundreds of
supporters at Proclamation Square, where the country's first
president Sukarno declared independence in 1945.
[to top of second column]
At the same time, Jokowi offered conciliatory words to his rival,
Prabowo, saying he was a patriot and contributed to a better
Prabowo countered with his own declaration of victory.
"(The quick counts) show that we, Prabowo-Hatta, have received the
support and mandate from the people of Indonesia," he told a rally
in the capital, referring to his running mate Hatta Rajasa.
After the official result is declared, candidates can challenge the
results in the Constitutional Court, the final arbiter over
The Court's reputation has been badly tarnished after its chief was
sentenced to jail for life this month for corruption.
"There have always been challenges...So we could end up with delayed
certainty for a few weeks," Douglas Ramage, a Jakarta-based
political analyst told Reuters.
The government declared Wednesday a public holiday and markets were
closed although the rupiah currency hit a seven-week high against
the dollar in offshore markets on Jokowi's victory claim.
His clean image is seen likely to bring in more foreign investment
as he seeks to correct Indonesia's reputation of widespread
But any euphoria in the market could quickly evaporate if the
stalemate over the result is not quickly resolved or if there is
"Whether the market goes up or down tomorrow will mostly depend on
the security. For me, maintaining security is very important at this
point," said Isbono Putro, a director at BNI Asset Management, who
helps manage about 8 trillion rupiah ($688.47 million) in assets.
(Additional reporting by Jakarta bureau, and Lewa Pardomuan in
Tasikmalaya, Writing by Jonathan Thatcher and Randy Fabi; Editing by
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.