Indonesian president elected for second term

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been elected (21 May 2019) for a second term, official results showed, in a victory over a would-be strongman who aligned himself with Islamic hard-liners.

His opponent, former Gen. Prabowo Subianto, vowed Tuesday to challenge the result in the country’s highest court.

Official counting was completed just before midnight and the Election Commission announced the formal result early Tuesday.

It said Widodo won 55.5% of the vote in the April 17 election to 45.5% for his challenger, ultra-nationalist Gen. Subianto.

Tens of thousands of police officers and soldiers were on high alert in Jakarta, the capital, anticipating protests from Subianto’s supporters.

The Election Commission’s headquarters in central Jakarta were barricaded with razor wire and heavily guarded.

Declaring victory, Widodo said he and his running mate, conservative cleric Ma’ruf Amin, “will be the president and vice president of all the people in Indonesia.”

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, is an outpost of democracy in a Southeast Asian neighbourhood of authoritarian governments and is forecast to be among the world’s biggest economies by 2030.

A second term for Widodo, the first Indonesian president from outside the Jakarta elite, could further cement the country’s two decades of democratisation.

Widodo’s campaign highlighted his progress in poverty reduction and improving Indonesia’s inadequate infrastructure with new ports, toll roads, airports and mass rapid transit.

Subianto, who also lost to Widodo in 2014 and unsuccessfully contested that result, has alleged massive election fraud but hasn’t provided any credible evidence.

What Indonesia can expect from President Joko Widodo’s second term

In President Joko Widodo’s first term, Indonesia saw the benefits of having high-quality infrastructure, from toll roads to ports and power plants. His second term will focus more on the importance of developing the country’s human resources.