Indonesia's Jokowi leads with 80 per cent of votes counted: Private group

Indonesian presidential candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo gestures during a rally in Proklamasi Monument Park in Jakarta on July 9, 2014. Jakarta's populist governor looks set to become Indonesia's next president, according to a private tally of 80
Indonesian presidential candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo gestures during a rally in Proklamasi Monument Park in Jakarta on July 9, 2014. Jakarta's populist governor looks set to become Indonesia's next president, according to a private tally of 80 per cent of the votes cast, as his rival lashed out at critics, including the capital's biggest English-language newspaper. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Jakarta's populist governor looks set to become Indonesia's next president, according to a private tally of 80 per cent of the votes cast, as his rival lashed out at critics, including the capital's biggest English-language newspaper.

The Elections Commission (KPU) is to officially announce the result on July 22, but a number of private groups are maintaining counts of the votes as they are published on the commission's website.

One such group, www.kawalpemilu.org, showed Mr Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in front with 53 per cent of the vote after 80 per cent of the count. "This is a crowd sourcing project based on open data released by the KPU," said Ms Elisa Sutanudjaja, an administrator for kawalpemilu.org. "It's based on the official (tallies) uploaded by the KPU but... there are some technical problems like not all the documents are uploaded correctly."

KPU officials declined to comment on the reliability of the kawalpemilu.org website.

Several sample "quick counts" of the vote on July 9, issued shortly after polls closed, also gave Mr Joko a narrow but convincing lead in the closest, and most acerbic, presidential election in the history of the world's third-biggest democracy.

His rival, former special forces general Prabowo Subianto, has said quick counts by other private pollsters gave him the lead. Quick counts are tallies of votes by private polling firms at a sample of voting booths across the country and have proved accurate in the past.

But two of the pollsters showing a Prabowo win refused to be audited this week, a spokesman for the Association of Public Opinion Surveys told Reuters.

He said that six others, several of which have been reliable in the past, that predicted a Joko win had been audited and declared sound.

Both sides have suggested the other might try to cheat and there have been reports of irregularities in some areas. But analysts said the number of votes involved - about 130 million people cast ballots - would make it near impossible to fix the result.

Mr Prabowo, who has faced repeated accusations of human rights abuses that he denies, has lashed out at media favouring his rival.

A video circulating on social media this week showed Mr Prabowo criticising the country's leading English daily for not printing his articles. "Your newspaper is a jerk," Mr Prabowo told a Jakarta Post reporter after refusing to answer her question at a news conference. "If Prabowo writes an article, it's not allowed to be published. That's not real democracy."

The newspaper had written an editorial ahead of the election, backing Mr Joko.

His team has also lodged a defamation complaint against a United States journalist over an off-the-record interview in 2011 in which the former general is quoted as saying Indonesia was "not ready" for democracy.