Both candidates in Indonesia election claim victory; Jokowi ahead in more counts
July 09 2014 01:33 PM

Reuters/Jakarta

Both candidates claimed victory in Indonesia's presidential election on Wednesday, suggesting there could be a drawn out constitutional battle to decide who will next lead the world's third-largest democracy.
Just a few hours after voting closed, Jakarta governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said he had won, based on what are widely seen as independent quick counts of more than 90 percent of the votes. A victory for him would be seen as a triumph for a new breed of politician that has emerged in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, and increase the promise of reform in government.
But ex-general Prabowo Subianto, the rival candidate seen as a representative of the old guard that flourished under decades of autocratic rule, pointed to a quick count by other pollsters naming him the winner.
He did not name the pollsters but a check by Reuters of eight agencies tallying the votes showed two put him ahead by between 1-2 percentage points. The other six showed a Jokowi win by around five percentage points.
The quick counts are conducted by private agencies which collate vote tallies as they come out of each district. The results are not official, but quick counts by three non-partisan pollsters - CSIS, Kompas and Saifulmujani - showed a Jokowi win. Their predictions were accurate in the April presidential elections.
The Election Commission will take about two weeks to declare the results officially and the new president is not due to take office until Oct. 1.

After the official result is declared, candidates can  challenge the results in the Constitutional Court, the final arbiter over contested polls.
The Court's reputation has been badly tarnished after its chief was sentenced to jail for life this month for corruption.
"There have always been challenges...So we could end up with delayed certainty for a few weeks," Douglas Ramage, a Jakarta-based political analyst told Reuters.

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