Indonesia's general election commission (KPU) yesterday officially declared incumbent President Joko Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin the winners of the April 17 presidential election.
This comes after the country's Constitutional Court ruled last Thursday to uphold the results of the presidential election that handed Mr Joko a second term, dismissing a challenge by the losing candidates, former army general Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Sandiaga Uno, who had claimed they were robbed of victory. The court's decision is final and binding.
The KPU held its plenary session yesterday afternoon and made the official announcement in a national live television broadcast.
"We declare that the presidential pair No. 1 Joko Widodo and Ma'ruf Amin as the elected pair for 2019-2024. They garnered 55.5 per cent of the total votes," KPU chief Arief Budiman said, reading out the commission's decree. The winning pair will be sworn in on Oct 20.
In a speech after the declaration, Mr Joko asked all Indonesians to forget the political differences that had divided them into two camps, and reminded everyone that they have to unite and work hard together.
He also stressed that everyone is needed to help with the mounting jobs ahead. "Indonesia is a big country. It wouldn't be enough if one or two persons, or one group of people build the nation… I hereby invite Mr Prabowo and Mr Sandiaga to help build this nation," Mr Joko said.
"I am sure they both are patriots who want our nation stronger, more advanced, just and prosperous," he added.
Mr Ma'ruf chipped in, saying that there should not be "not-talking-to-each-other" among neighbours, friends and family members because of different political views.
Thousands of security personnel had been deployed by police in a move to secure the area outside the KPU headquarters in central Jakarta.
Police appealed to supporters of both candidate pairs to stay at home and watch the event on television, instead of going to the KPU headquarters or taking to the streets to support or oppose the official declaration.
Jakarta police announced several traffic detours around the KPU building to ensure yesterday's event would run smoothly. No noticeable crowd was seen.
In responding to the Constitutional Court's ruling last week, Mr Prabowo said he accepted the outcome, but stopped short of conceding defeat to Mr Joko, popularly called Jokowi.
Mr Prabowo said: "Although the ruling is very disappointing for us and our supporters, as agreed, we will comply with it and our Constitution and prevailing laws. We respect the ruling by the Constitutional Court."
He added that he will consult his legal team for advice on whether there are other legal avenues to take, but did not elaborate.
For yesterday's announcement, the KPU prepared seats for both candidate pairs and senior members of the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court.
Mr Prabowo and Mr Sandiaga, however, were not present for the announcement.