PRESIDENT-elect Joko Widodo appealed to all Indonesians to put aside their political differences and reconcile with their family members, neighbours and friends with whom bonds may have been frayed after a heated election.
"In the last few months, it is as if political differences have become an excuse to divide us. Diversity and difference are certainties in a democracy, but relationships in the community remain the foundation of a united Indonesia," he said in a victory speech on Tuesday night, shortly after being declared the winner of the July 9 election.
"We humbly appeal to you, our countrymen, to return to our historical destiny as a united nation, one nation, Indonesia… We share the responsibility to prove to ourselves and other nations, but above all to our children and grandchildren, that politics is something joyful, it is a virtue, it is liberating."
Indonesia's Election Commission (KPU) last night declared Mr Joko, or Jokowi, and his running mate Mr Jusuf Kalla the victors of the July 9 election, with 53.15 per cent of votes - a margin of over 8 million votes - against their opponents Mr Prabowo Subianto and Mr Hatta Rajasa.
Mr Joko and Mr Kalla rushed from the KPU to the port of Sunda Kelapa in North Jakarta, where they boarded a large fishing vessel to deliver their televised victory speech before some 200 reporters, cameramen and photographers.
The choice of location was intentional - Mr Joko had made improvements to sea transport a key part of his campaign platform, and returned to this theme yesterday.
But first, he demonstrated he meant business by his call for unity and began by thanking their rivals, Mr Prabowo and Mr Hatta, for being "friends in a political competition to get the people's mandate to led this country for the next five years", even as Mr Prabowo pulled their witnesses out of the final stages of the vote tally yesterday afternoon.
Mr Joko remarks are characteristic of the even-tempered, mild-mannered candidate that he was over the past two months, even while being subjected to mud-slinging attacks for being a lackey of foreign parties and a puppet with no mind of his own.
But he had also refused, in spite of suggestions from his campaign team and supporters, to go on the offensive, and maintained his cordial tone yesterday.
The recent election, he said, had reignited a new optimism for many Indonesians and especially a younger generation who felt passionate about their political responsibilities.
"The spirit of volunteerism, that many felt had long died, now surfaces with a new spirit," he said, in a reference to the many volunteers who had helped out in his campaign, often at their own expense.
"The presidential election has taken politics to a new phase, that is no longer just about politics at face value, but as a cultural celebration. What volunteers have shown, from artists to trishaw drivers, gives hope that the spirit of gotong-royong (mutual cooperation) will never die," he said.
"It is this spirit that will make the Indonesian nation not just resilient in the face of challenges, but also developed as a global maritime pivot, the locus of a major political civilisation in future," he added.
"And I am convinced our struggle to achieve a sovereign, self-reliant and confident Indonesia will only be achieved when we move together."
Mr Joko ended by calling on Indonesians to leave behind their political affiliations for number one and number two, referring to the ballot numbers of Mr Prabowo and himself, and to return to one Indonesia.
"We are strong because we are united, and we are united because we are one," he said.