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Indonesia formally declares Prabowo next president
Published on: Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Indonesia formally declares Prabowo next president
Indonesian defence minister Prabowo Subianto is due to take the reins in October from outgoing leader Joko Widodo. (AP pic)
JAKARTA: Indonesia’s election commission formally declared Prabowo Subianto as the next president of the world’s third-largest democracy on Wednesday, after the country’s constitutional court shot down challenges to his first-round majority victory.

Indonesian defence minister Prabowo, 72, is due to take the reins in October from outgoing leader Joko Widodo, more popularly known as Jokowi, after a transition period following his third attempt at the top office.

It comes after his election rivals Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo called for a re-run of the February 14 vote in which Prabowo won nearly 60 per cent of ballots, alleging state interference and rule changes that supported his ticket.

The election commission (KPU) “determines the presidential and vice-presidential candidates, Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka, as the elected presidential and vice-presidential candidates,” said KPU chair Hasyim Asy’ari.

Prabowo has courted controversy for past allegations of human rights abuses, accused by rights groups of a role in disappearing democracy activists at the end of dictator Suharto’s rule in the late 1990s.

But the fiery populist secured an easy election win on the back of his pledge to continue Jokowi’s popular agenda of strong economic development and his choice of the president’s eldest son Gibran as his vice-president.

“I want to say that the match is over, a very important match, a very important contest. This is what the people were asking for,” Prabowo told a ceremony in capital Jakarta on Wednesday.

“I will prove that I will… fight for all Indonesian people, including those who did not vote for me.”

Jokowi was accused of engineering rule changes that allowed Gibran to run as Prabowo’s VP.

The requirements were lowered in October by Jokowi’s brother-in-law, then-chief justice Anwar Usman, to allow candidates under 40 to run if they had been elected to a political position. Gibran, 36, is the mayor of Java’s Surakarta city.

Gibran joining Prabowo’s team strapped an election rocket to the campaign, with the defence minister’s poll numbers soaring in the following months.

But the constitutional court shot down the complaints of Prabowo’s two rivals in their entirety on Monday, saying nepotism and state intervention had not been proven.

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