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Joko Widodo declared winner of Indonesia poll amidst tension

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Thousands of soldiers fanned out across Jakarta on Tuesday as unexpectedly early results in Indonesia’s election showed Joko Widodo was re-elected leader of the world’s third-biggest democracy.

Joko Widodo declared winner of Indonesia poll amidst tension

Widodo and his vice-presidential running mate Ma’ruf Amin won the country’s top jobs with 55.5 percent of the vote against 44.5 percent for Subianto and his wealthy financier partner Sandiaga Uno, the commission said Tuesday.

Some 85.6 million votes were cast in favour of Widodo out of about 154 million in total, it added.

Widodo scored thumping victories in holiday hotspot Bali and heavily populated East Java, while Subianto landed big wins in conservative Aceh and West Java.

The election commission was due to announce the final tally of the divisive poll on Wednesday, but the results were revealed early Tuesday with little advance notice amid fears of unrest.

Presidential challenger Prabowo Subianto had warned of possible mass uprisings in response to his claims of widespread cheating.

Tensions have also spiked high since police said last week that they arrested dozens of Islamic State-linked terror suspects — including some who planned to cause chaos by detonating bombs at any post-election protests.

On Friday, the US embassy in Jakarta issued a heightened security alert for Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim majority nation.

There was a heavy security presence in Jakarta on Tuesday, including in front of the elections commission office, which was barricaded with razor wire and protected by scores of heavily armed troops.

Subianto, a 67-year-old retired general, accused the commission of allowing a string of election violations.

The former military man — who has strong ties to the Suharto dictatorship that collapsed in 1998 — has kept up a steady string of rhetoric since unofficial results for the April 17 poll put bitter rival Widodo ahead by a wide margin.

Subianto lost a 2014 presidential battle with Widodo, which he unsuccessfully challenged in court.

It was not immediately clear if he would formally challenge the latest results.

However, Azis Subekti, a witness for Subianto’s camp, refused to sign the official election results Tuesday, and hinted that the matter was not settled.

“We won’t surrender in our fight against injustice, fraud and abuse,” he was quoted as saying by Indonesia’s Detik.com.

Last month, a record 245,000 candidates ran for public office in Indonesia, from the presidency and parliamentary seats to local positions — the first time all were held on the same day.

(NAN)

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