Indonesia’s election commission on Friday confirmed poll projections showing that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono sailed to victory in this month’s presidential elections. He will lead the world’s most populous Muslim majority nation for a second and final five-year term without need for a run off.
The commission said that Mr Yudhoyono and Boediono, his running mate, took 60.8 per cent of the total vote and won 28 of the country’s 33 provinces.
Mr Yudhoyono’s re-election had been largely expected after his Democrat party increased its share of the popular vote in legislative polls to 20.85 per cent in April from 7.46 per cent in 2004. He is seen as clean and has made tackling corruption a focus of his tenure, which recently saw the powerful anti-corruption commission jail one of his own in-laws.
The choice of Boediono, who at the time was the governor of Bank Indonesia, as Mr Yudhoyono’s running mate was seen by many as a sign of his increasing confidence and lessened reliance on coalition building.
The two losing presidential candidates – former president Megawati Sukarnoputri and current vice president Jusuf Kalla, both of whom were running with former military figures with dubious human rights backgrounds – have complained of irregularities in the electoral lists, which they claim may have left millions of people unable to vote.
A spokesperson for Ms Megawati and Prabowo Subianto said the pair would “most likely challenge the results legally,” but will not decide until after the formal election commission results announcement on Saturday. Mr Kalla is also believed to be considering making a protest at that time.
Mr Kalla and his running mate Wiranto won in only four provinces, including Mr Kalla’s home province of South Sulawesi. Mrs Megawati and Mr Prabowo won only in Bali, the birthplace of Mrs Megawati’s grandmother.
Mrs Megawati’s campaign had been bolstered by that of her running mate, Mr Prabowo, whose unusually slick television advertisements were funded in part by his brother, Hashim Djojohadikusomo, one of Indonesia’s richest men. Mr Prabowo had been advised by US political communications expert Rob Allyn. Mr Allyn was an advisor to George W Bush on his successful campaign Texas gubernatorial campaign in 1994.
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