Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo appeared headed for a second term in office late Wednesday after tens of millions voted across the sprawling archipelago-nation in a democratic exercise billed as the largest direct election ever held.
The 57-year-old former furniture salesman from Central Java took at least 55 percent of votes with more than 97 percent of sample votes counted, according to projections known as “quick counts” by five independent polling organizations.
But his rival, former army Gen. Prabowo Subianto, also declared victory Wednesday night, in a repeat of events that followed the 2014 election. Prabowo eventually conceded a narrow loss to Jokowi after a challenge in the Constitutional Court failed.
Official results are not due until May but quick counts have proven reliable in past elections.
“Based on the results of quick counts by credible pollsters, it appears that I and Ma’ruf Amin are trusted by the Indonesian people to be president and vice president for the period of 2019-2024,” said a statement issued late Wednesday by his campaign, quoting the incumbent.
Jokowi supporters paraded around the Hotel Indonesia roundabout in central Jakarta after the announcement, despite warnings against victory marches issued by government officials on Monday.
Opinion polls before voting day consistently showed Jokowi with a comfortable two-digit lead over Prabowo.
Full story: BenarNews
Ahmad Syamsudin and Tia Asmara
Jakarta. Keisyah Aprilia, Arie Firdaus, Nurdin Hasan, John Kambang, Victor Mambor, Anton Muhajir and Almira Wang contributed to this report.
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