Joko Widodo did his best “David vs. Goliath” impersonation and it carried him to the Presidency.
Known as Jokowi, the new president won 53.15% of the vote while his rival, ex-general Prabowo Subianto, received 46.85%. The electoral commission declared Joko the winner, according to the BBC. Joko has promised a decisive break with Indonesia’s authoritarian past and better social welfare for the poor. Joko’s victory is a first for his party, the PDI-P (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan) or the Indonesian Democratic Party Of Struggle, breaking away from the previous administrations who were backed heavily by the military and political elite.
Joko’s political career could be considered mercurial, given that he was elected the mayor of Solo, Central Java, in 2005 and again in 2010, the last time garnering more than 90 percent of the vote. A scant two years later, Widodo was elected the governor of Jakarta. Now, just two years after that, Joko is the president.
A former furniture-maker who grew up in a small village, Joko is seen as a clean politician in touch with the masses. The Jakarta governor has proved to be particularly popular with urban and rural youth.
Before the official results were confirmed, the chairperson of Joko’s PDI-P party, Megawati Sukarnoputri, claimed victory on behalf of the candidate and his running-mate Jusuf Kalla. “I want to declare that we, the party that supports and puts forward Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla, has won,” she told reporters on Tuesday evening.
Time is reporting that Joko’s opponent is not done, however. Subianto has announced they would not accept the results and would fight them in Constitutional Court, alleging massive voter fraud. Subainto, an ex-military man with a tainted human rights record, reflects the Indonesian Political structure of the past; military or political elite, or both. His intention to challenge the results seems to be losing ground. Every time Subianto speaks on the subject, his former running mate, Hatta Rajasa, is not beside him, possibly showing a breaking of the ranks.
On July 9, Indonesia held their presidential election. Over 130 million persons voted and the votes were tallied with both candidates questioning parts of the counting process. Still, analysts state that Joko’s 6 percent lead is decisive, so much so that even if Subianto’s claim of voter fraud is found to have validity, it will do little to change the results. Mr Subianto has three days to file an appeal with Indonesia’s constitutional court. The court has until August 22 to make a ruling on the results.