Indonesia election: Jokowi again urges supporters to wait for official results

(Top) Mr Joko Widodo speaking to the media yesterday, flanked by running mate Ma'ruf Amin and PDI-P leader Megawati Soekarnoputri, and Mr Prabowo Subianto, together with running mate Sandiaga Uno (in blue), declaring to the media yesterday that they
(Top) Mr Joko Widodo speaking to the media yesterday, flanked by running mate Ma'ruf Amin and PDI-P leader Megawati Soekarnoputri, and Mr Prabowo Subianto, together with running mate Sandiaga Uno (in blue), declaring to the media yesterday that they had won the election.PHOTOS: REUTERS, ARIFFIN JAMAR

He says he has clear edge in quick counts even as rival Prabowo reiterates he has won

President Joko Widodo repeated his call for supporters to hold out for the official results of the presidential race, even as he acknowledged that quick counts by a string of independent pollsters gave him a clear edge over opponent Prabowo Subianto.

These quick counts, he added, have always closely mirrored the official results of elections.

Mr Joko, who is popularly known as Jokowi, told a press conference yesterday afternoon that unofficial tallies by 12 survey institutions point to him and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin winning 54.55 per cent of the vote to their opponents' 44.45 per cent.

"These quick counts give us clear figures... We all know that quick counts are based on science, and our past experience in previous elections showed that its accuracy to the real count is 99 per cent," he said. "But we have to wait for the official results from KPU (Elections Commission), which we hope will be completed as soon as possible."

These results will be out only on Thursday next week at the soonest.

While Mr Joko held off once more on declaring himself president, on the other side of town Mr Prabowo made yet another buoyant claim of victory - his third in two days.

Mr Prabowo said he and his running mate Sandiaga Uno, were the president and vice-president of Indonesia for 2019 to 2024. His team's calculations showed him winning 62 per cent of the votes, he said.

"We are declaring our victory earlier because we have proof that there have been various attempts at fraud that happened in many villages, sub-districts, districts, regencies and cities across Indonesia," said the retired army general, whose team has called out "anomalies" in the election process that have hampered his supporters.

As soon as quick-count results started trickling in two hours after polls closed on Wednesday, his team came out to dispute them.

Mr Joko, when asked by Metro TV why his address to supporters on Wednesday night carried no elements of a victory speech, said: "Yesterday, only about 70 per cent of the quick count was done. So let's not overly anticipate the will of the voters."

"And even though now nearly 100 per cent of quick counts are in, we should be patient. Be patient and wait for the official results."

His running mate, Dr Ma'ruf, had said the reason the pair have not declared victory ahead of official results is because "we are committed to respecting the rules and in no way delegitimising the KPU".

"I think it's unethical to announce victory before an official announcement is made," he said.

 
 
 

Meanwhile, Mr Sandiaga's presence at Mr Prabowo's latest declaration of victory was of particular note.

His vice-presidential pick had been conspicuously absent on Wednesday after polls closed, when Mr Prabowo twice announced to reporters and supporters that he had won the election.

This set tongues wagging, prompting chatter about a rift.

Campaign members last night quickly sought to put such speculation to rest, saying Mr Sandiaga had been suffering from an attack of hiccups. They also maintained that Mr Sandiaga agreed with Mr Prabowo's declarations of victory.

Though the election was a heated one that divided Indonesia, Mr Joko and Mr Prabowo yesterday made clear that there was no bad blood between them.

Mr Joko said he had sent an envoy to meet Mr Prabowo, looking to reach out to him and Mr Sandiaga and arrange a meeting.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2019, with the headline 'Jokowi again urges supporters to wait for official election results'. Print Edition | Subscribe