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Hundreds of Indonesian took to street to protest President Joko Widodo comfortable re-election in last month’s poll.
An official count showed on Tuesday, throwing the spotlight on his opponent who refused to concede as his supporters gathered in the capital in protest at the result.
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The General Election Commission (KPU) confirmed unofficial counts by private pollsters in the April 17 election, giving Widodo a 55.5% share of votes against 44.5% for Prabowo Subianto.
Widodo won more than 85 million votes of a total of 154 million cast in the world’s third-largest democracy, but Prabowo told reporters he believed there had been widespread cheating and about 1,000 supporters gathered in a peaceful protest.
The retired general pledged he would “continue to make legal efforts in line with the constitution to defend the mandate of the people”.
Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, the legal director of Prabowo’s campaign team, confirmed it planned to contest the result in the Constitutional Court.
On Monday, an election supervisory agency dismissed claims of systematic cheating, citing a lack of evidence, and independent observers have said the poll was free and fair.
Flanked by riot police, Prabowo’s supporters were gathering mainly at the election supervisory agency (Bawaslu) in the heart of the city’s commercial and government district.
“We have a long struggle ahead of us to find the truth in this election,” one of the protest leaders shouted into a megaphone, urging people to remain peaceful.
He threatened severe punishment for criminal activity and vowed to maintain security, while denying authorities were being draconian.
The KPU announced official results more than a day earlier than expected after working into the early hours of Tuesday, a move that meant the announcement came before planned protests.
“We are grateful and proud that amid our differences, we have been mature in keeping the peace,” he said on a visit to a poor neighborhood of the capital.
Ben Bland, director of the Southeast Asia Project at Lowy Institute, said the election showed how identity and religious politics appeared to be increasingly “embedded in the political discourse in Indonesia”.
“The challenge for Jokowi is to try and find a way to defuse tensions,” said Bland, using the president’s nickname.
“On the other hand there is concern of Prabowo not accepting the result, but we can see everywhere the police and army are ready to ensure security,” Taneli said.
Prabowo had warned the cheating claims could trigger “people power”-style protests, though ahead of the result he had urged supporters in a video to be “peaceful in our struggle”.
Authorities have tightened security in the capital in a bid to choke off any civil unrest and detained dozens of militant Islamists suspected of planning attacks. Police said they had held or interrogated at least three leading opposition figures for suspected treason.
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Ten and thousands of Hong Kong protesters flood city streets in largest rally in weeks
Source: AFP- A sea of democracy activists flooded the streets of Hong Kong Sunday in a defiant show to the city’s leaders that their movement still pulls wide public support, despite mounting violence and increasingly stark warnings from Beijing.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters carrying umbrellas poured across the heart of Hong Kong island defying torrential rain and a police order not to march from a park where they had gathered earlier for a rally.
Weeks of demonstrations have plunged the financial hub into crisis, with images of masked black-clad protesters engulfed by tear gas during street battles against riot police stunning a city once renowned for its stability.
Sunday’s action, which organisers the Civil Human Rights Front said drew more than 1.7 million in the largest rally in weeks, was billed as a return to the “peaceful” origins of the leaderless protest movement.
“It’s been a long day and we’re very tired, but to see so many people out in the rain marching for Hong Kong gives strength to everyone,” said Danny Tam, a 28-year-old graphic designer.
The unprecedented political crisis was sparked by opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland.