JAKARTA (AA) – Joko “Jokowi” Widoko has won Indonesia’s presidential election with 53 percent of the vote, according to the country’s election commission.
The commission announced the official tally for the world’s third largest democracy Tuesday evening, naming Jokowi president-elect with a total vote of almost 71 million votes.
Jokowi is due to replace President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono – who has reached the two-term limit.
“The KPU declares candidate pair Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla as president-elect and vice president-elect,” commission chairman Husni Kamil Malik said live on national television.
Just hours before the official result, contender Prabowo Subianto – who was judged to have garnered 46.85 percent of the vote - withdrew his candidacy, claiming massive fraud.
After the July 9 vote, eight of 12 opinion polls ruled for Jokowi, while four named ex-general Subianto as the winner, the highest margin being four points.
For months, polls put 53-year-old everyman Jokowi well ahead, but with days to go before the vote opinion polls suggested that Subianto had closed the gap to just 1.5 percent.
In a press conference Tuesday, Subianto – a former military general under President Suharto - rejected the election, and instructed all of his team to walk out from the commission building.
“We reject the 2014 presidential election, which is illegitimate, and therefore we withdraw from the ongoing process,” he said.
The self-styled military strongman has three days to lodge a formal protest with the Constitutional Court.
Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono – who has reached the two-term limit – has urged both parties to respect the result.
Both candidates had raised concerns of voting irregularities.
Subianto — reported to model himself on the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk — is a businessman and heavily decorated lieutenant general, having headed the country’s oppressive special forces under General Suharto, while Jokowi — who resigned his post as mayor of Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta to run for president — is a one time little-known furniture retailer, whose stock began to rise in 2005 when he became the mayor of the central Javanese city of Solo.
Jokowi is the first president in the worlds’ most populous Muslim nation to come from outside the country’s tightly knit elite.
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