Prabowo Subianto

Indonesia: Ex-general ahead in presidential election

14.02.2024 10:29

Indonesia elected a new president and a new parliament on Wednesday. Around 205 million people were eligible to vote in the world's fourth most populous country. The 72-year-old ex-general Prabowo Subianto was considered the clear favorite to succeed President Joko Widodo. He ultimately won the election.

According to the results, Prabowo received around 57 to 59 percent of the vote. That would be enough for a victory in the first round of voting. The figures are the results of so-called quick counts of ballot papers carried out by private polling institutes at selected polling stations throughout the country. The figures have proven to be accurate in previous elections.

Preliminary results are expected by the evening local time at the latest. However, the official results will not be announced until the end of March. The incumbent head of state, known as Jokowi, is not allowed to stand again after two terms in office.

Here you can see a graphic of the presidential election in Indonesia.

Favorite confronted with serious accusations
However, Prabowo is not without controversy. He is accused of human rights violations during the rule of former dictator Suharto (1966-1998), who was also his father-in-law.

Staged as a loving grandfather
In particular, the former officer is alleged to have been involved in the abduction and torture of over 20 dissident activists in 1998 as a member of an elite unit. The whereabouts of around a dozen of those abducted at the time are still unknown. Prabowo rejects the accusations. However, the popularity of the favorite, who presents himself as a lovable grandfather on social media, has not been affected by the events of the past.

Three candidates stood for election
Prabowo (72), who was running for president for the third time, was opposed by the governor of Central Java province, Ganjar Pranowo (55), and the former governor of Jakarta and ex-education minister Anies Baswedan (54). All three stand for a continuation of the successful economic development-oriented policies of the Jokowi era.
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