A former general of dictator Suharto declares victory in the Indonesian presidential elections

A former general of dictator Suharto declares victory in the Indonesian presidential elections

BarcelonaFormer general and current Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto claimed victory in Wednesday's presidential election, although the results are still provisional. The informal count gives him 58% of the votes, far ahead of his rivals. If these data are confirmed, Subianto will become president of Indonesia without having to go to a second round of elections in June, having crossed the 50% threshold.

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At a massive event at the Senayan Sports Stadium in central Jakarta, Subianto rejoiced and declared his victory “a victory for all Indonesians,” accompanied by his candidate for vice president, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who is the eldest son of the outgoing president. Joko Widodo (Jokowi). The potential new president has promised “governance for all” with an executive that will continue Widodo's policies that have brought economic prosperity to the world's third-largest democracy.

Subianto was cheered by his supporters even as he joked about his closeness to former dictator Suharto, who was his son-in-law and military commander. About the second president [Suharto, que va ser el segon cap d’estat del país després de la independència]“I know him very well,” he told a crowd. Why are you laughing? Don't believe it? “I often had lunch with him,” he insisted, and also thanked his ex-wife, Titik Suharto, for his victory. The crowd's shouts and applause at these signals represent a sudden transformation in a country, after decades of repressive rule. In 1998, he succeeded in overthrowing the dictator Suharto, who is considered one of the most corrupt leaders in the world.

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Youth is key

Subianto said 100 million young voters were key to his victory. The 72-year-old former general was commander of Indonesia's special forces in the 1990s and was dismissed from the army amid unproven allegations of human rights abuses, including the kidnapping of 13 student activists during the protests that ousted Suharto. But he always denied his involvement in these events.

This is the third time that Subianto has run in the presidential elections, but he was defeated the previous two times by Jokowi. In this last term, the popular president integrated the former opponent into his government and made him Minister of Defense. This, combined with his electoral victory with Jokowi's eldest son, paved the way for him as presidential successor.

On the other hand, his rivals in next Wednesday's elections did not want to accept the preliminary results yet, and said that they would wait for official statements to announce the loss of the battle. Anies Baswedan, 54, was the only one of the three candidates to criticize the outgoing government's minimal policies and the only one to promise not to go ahead with the massive Jokowi-led project to move the capital, Jakarta, which is collapsing under the government's rule. Water, in another city on the island of Borneo. Baswedan asked for time for the electoral authorities to do their work, but said he would accept the results once they are officially announced.

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