WASHINGTON, D.C. (AA) – U.S. President Barack Obama phoned Indonesian President-elect Joko Widodo Tuesday evening to offer his congratulations following a tightly contested election.
Widodo won Indonesia’s presidential election with 53 percent of the vote, according to the country’s electoral commission, bringing an end to one of the most bitterly fought and closest elections in the country’s history.
Prabowo Subianto, Widodo’s opponent and former Indonesian general, said Wednesday, however, he would contest the results in the country’s constitutional court.
During their conversation, Obama “noted that through this free and fair election, the people of Indonesia have once again shown their commitment to democracy,” according to a readout of the call provided by the White House.
Widodo’s election marks the first time that a non-political or military elite took Indonesia’s top spot. He previously served as the mayor of the central Javan city of Surakarta, and held the position of governor of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.
Obama told Widodo that he looks forward to meeting with him as soon as possible “and to working with him to deepen the U.S.-Indonesia partnership, expand ties between our two peoples, and promote our shared objectives in Asia and around the world.”
Widodo is set to assume office in October after sitting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s second term expires.
Indonesia, the most populous Muslim-majority country, is home to over 245 million people.
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