21st May 2019 - Indonesia’s incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was officially declared the winner of the April 17 presidential election latelast night, gaining a second term in office amid threats from the opposing camp to hold “people power” rallies contesting the results.

Arief Budiman, head of the General Election Commission, announced at a nationally televised plenary session of the commission early Tuesday that Jokowi collected 85.6 million valid votes, or roughly 55 percent of the total, while his rival Prabowo Subianto earned 68.7 million votes, or 45 percent.

During the plenary session that ended just before dawn, Prabowo’s camp rejected the results of the vote-counting, refusing to sign the dossiers.

“We declare that we reject the results of the presidential election…as a moral monument that we are not giving up (the) fight against injustice, frauds, arbitrary acts, lies and any actions that will betray democracy,” said Aziz Subekti, a representative of Prabowo’s camp.

Those who are dissatisfied with the results of the election, held simultaneously with legislative elections, can file a judicial review to the Constitutional Court. Prabowo, however, has repeatedly said he does not trust any government institution, claiming they have been on Jokowi’s side and therefore he would decline to go the court.

But on some occasions, he has expressed faith that people will stand behind him and encouraged the staging of “people power” rallies.

In a message responding to the presidential election results, Prabowo called on his supporters to hold the rallies “with the spirit of peace.”

“Our steps are constitutional, democratic, but peaceful ones, without any violence (and) my struggle is not a personal one but for the people’s sovereignty,” he said.

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo

Prabowo’s camp plans to deploy millions of supporters to the election commission, raising concerns of possible violence.

Security has been tightened in the capital since Monday with military and police officers seen on the streets and in many buildings.

National Police Spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told reporters Monday that a total of 34,000 military and police personnel have been deployed across Jakarta, particularly around the election commission compound, “to guarantee safety for Jakarta residents.”

Police are focused on the risk that Islamic State-affiliated militants could use the rallies or mass gatherings to launch terrorist attacks against crowds containing protesters, journalists and security personnel.

This month, a total of 29 militants have been arrested on suspicion of planning such attacks, targeting demonstrations around the date of the announcement.

Mass gatherings relating to the presidential and legislative elections have been taking place almost daily in Jakarta and are expected to continue until Wednesday.

Many such rallies are organized by supporters of Prabowo, with participants alleging irregularities in vote-counting.

Prabowo, the former son-in-law of the deposed dictator Suharto, is former head of the army’s Strategic Reserves Command.

He was fired for his alleged involvement in the abductions of several activists in 1998 when he was commander of the army’s special forces unit, or KOPASSUS.