Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto said on Tuesday he did not accept official election results giving President Joko Widodo a second term because he believed there had been cheating in the poll.
He also told reporters he would “continue to make legal efforts in line with the constitution to defend the mandate of the people and the constitutional rights that were seized”.
Earlier, a campaign official said the retired general would contest the result in the Constitutional Court.
However, police have cracked down hard on any civil unrest. Last week they arrested one of Prabowo’s biggest supporters, Eggy Sujana, on suspicion of treason. The arrest appears to relate to Eggy’s call for a “people power” protest against the election result – a speech made in front of Prabowo’s Jakarta residence on April 17. One of Prabowo’s party officials, Sufmi Dasco Ahmad said there was “not even the smallest fact that can connect Prabowo with a treason charge.
“As we know, Mr Prabowo always fights through the legal and constitutional route.”
Official results from Indonesia’s General Elections Commission, released early Tuesday, showed more than 85 million voters supported Joko, a former furniture maker, compared to 68 million for Prabowo. Joko’s margin of victory at 11 per cent was almost double the lead he secured in 2014 against the same opponent.
Joko’s party, PDIP, also won first place in the parliamentary election with 19.3 per cent of the vote. The next biggest parliamentary party will be Prabowo’s Gerindra party with 12.6 per cent. It is not immediately clear how many seats each party will get out of the 575 contested seats.
Representatives of the Prabowo camp refused in the plenary session of the Elections Commission to sign the final result.
The street in front of the Elections Commission office in central Jakarta has been closed since Monday evening, with more than 32,000 police and military personnel deployed to guard it and other government offices.
In his victory speech in a poor neighbourhood of Jakarta called Kampung Deret, Joko said he and his running mate, Ma’ruf Amin, would be “president and vice president of all Indonesians”.
“We will work very hard for the people. Let’s unite together for the unity and peace of our country,” he said.
He called on Prabowo to “respect the election result,” and said he had been trying for more than a month to arrange a meeting with his opponent.
“Perhaps it is just a matter of timing,” he quipped.