Start Asia President Widodo wins election in Indonesia

President Widodo wins election in Indonesia

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The Indonesian head of state Widodo can govern for another five years. In the presidential election, he won clearly. The opposition, however, speaks of manipulation.

In Indonesia, President Joko „Jokowi“ Widodo remains in office. The 57-year-old was declared the winner of the presidential election on 17 April in Jakarta on Tuesday after counting more than 154 million votes. According to the electoral commission, the incumbent head of state struck his challenger, the nationalist ex-general Prabowo Subianto (67), clearly.

For „Jokowi,“ as the president is usually called, voted 55.5 percent. Prabowo came only to 44.5 percent. The end result is quite close to the first forecasts. The ex-general had already lost in 2014. From his camp came accusations that the election had been manipulated. Independently, however, there was no confirmation.

More than 85 million voters voted for the incumbent head of state. Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands, which is why it took an unusually long time to announce the final result (read more about the electoral process here). Overshadowed was the choice of numerous deaths. According to official figures, more than 300 helpers were killed during the counting – mostly due to health problems such as complete exhaustion, but also due to accidents.

Of more than 260 million inhabitants, nearly 90 percent are Muslims. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world. For a long time it was considered a model for a tolerant Islam. Recently, conservative forces gained in influence.

Clergyman becomes vice

Widodo had in the first term repeatedly accused of not being Muslim enough. Then he took a well-known clergyman to the side, Ma’ruf Amin, who had made several mood against homosexuals. The 76-year-old now becomes vice president. The president himself is considered liberal. In recent years, Indonesia has gained international influence. It is also part of the circle of large industrial and emerging countries (G20).

Open on Tuesday was first, whether Prabowo wants to proceed legally against the election result. The former general is a former son-in-law of longtime dictator Suharto. Five years ago, he had challenged the election in court, but without success. At that time, Widodo had won 53.1 to 46.9 percent – so he could now increase his lead.