Ex-General Prabowo Likely Clear Winner in Indonesian Presidential Election

Former General Prabowo Subianto is poised to become the next president of Indonesia, according to quick counts and preliminary calculations.

Ex-General Prabowo Likely Clear Winner

He was allegedly involved in the Suharto dictatorship, and yet he appears to be the new president: according to forecasts, the incumbent Defense Minister Prabowo is clearly leading in the elections in Indonesia. However, the final result is expected in March.

According to quick counts, former General Prabowo Subianto has won the presidential election in Indonesia by a large margin. According to preliminary calculations, the 72-year-old incumbent Defense Minister received about 57 to 59 percent of the votes, as reported by Indonesian media. His competitors – former Governor of Jakarta and former Minister of Education Anies Baswedan, and the Governor of Central Java province Ganjar Pranowo – lagged far behind with about 25 percent and 16 percent respectively.

Official final results expected in March

The quick counts are based on random samples of ballots from polling stations across the country. Thus, Prabowo is not expected to go into a second round. The official final results will be announced by the election commission at the end of March.

Prabowo was already considered the clear favorite for the succession of popular President Joko Widodo. Widodo has been the head of state and government since 2014, but was not allowed to run for re-election after two terms. However, as vice president, Prabowo nominated Widodo’s oldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka. Critics accused the outgoing president of wanting to establish a political family dynasty.

Criticism of Prabowo’s dictatorship era

Human rights activists criticized Prabowo’s candidacy. He is associated with torture and the disappearance of political opponents during the dictatorship of Suharto from 1967 to 1998. Prabowo was a Lieutenant General during that time.

Approximately 205 million people were called to vote in the huge country with its approximately 17,000 islands. One third of the population is younger than 30 years old.