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NEWS UPDATES 9 July 2009

Indonesia Elections: Quick count shows Yudhoyono wining big 

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Incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appeared headed for a landslide win in Indonesia's presidential election on Wednesday, becoming the first leader since the fall of Suharto in 1998 to secure a second term in office, reported the Strait Time.

Quick counts showed him ahead by a massive margin, which would eliminate the need for a run-off in September.

Dr Yudhoyono, 59, led with 60.85 percent of the vote, according to a partial count by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI). Other pollsters showed him winning with between 57 percent and 61 percent.

According to LSI, Dr Yudhoyono was the winner in 30 of the country's 33 provinces, clearing yet another hurdle to avoid a second round of voting. Under election law, there is no need for a run-off if the poll winner gets more than 50 percent of votes cast and wins at least 20 percent in half the provinces.

Despite his apparent overwhelming win, Dr Yudhoyono refrained from declaring himself the victor. At his house in Bogor, he told reporters: “I thank God for the people's support. But let's wait for the full official results. Winning or losing was noble, he said, calling on his rivals to resolve any objections to the results peacefully.

“Let's work together to maintain a peaceful situation in this country,” he said. “If there are objections or protests, please do it through mechanisms and procedures in line with our law.”

The official results are expected to be declared on July 25 but the quick counts have proven accurate in previous elections. Analysts say the early results, if confirmed, would effectively end the political careers of Megawati and Kalla.

Allegations of irregularities, including charges of fictitious voters and millions being left off the voter rolls, have dogged the election. The accusations prompted a Constitutional Court to issue a last-minute ruling that allowed unregistered voters to cast their ballots by using their identity cards.

On Wednesday, Panwaslu, the election supervisory board, issued a statement saying it had received reports of irregularities in the election in several places. Otherwise, polling was peaceful as around 176 million Indonesians turned up at half a million polling stations across the sprawling archipelago. National police spokesman Nanan Sukartna told reporters there had been no reports of election-related violence.


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