Yudhoyono wins Indonesian Presidential Election
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Last Updated: Friday, July 24, 2009, 11:36
  
Jakarta: Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won the country's July 8 Presidential Election with 60.8 percent of the votes, the General Elections Commission said.

Yudhoyono collected nearly 74 million votes to win a second five-year term, the commission said on its website while reporting its final tally of the ballots.

His rivals, former president Megawati Sukarnoputri and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, had 26.8 percent and 12.4 percent of the votes respectively, the commission said.

Representatives of Megawati and Kalla refused to attend the commission's plenary meeting Thursday night to decide on the final tally, arguing that the election body had yet to address their complaints of irregularities in the voter rolls and other allegations of cheating.

The election results are to be formally announced on Saturday, and candidates then have 72 hours to challenge them.

If challenges fail, Yudhoyono would take oath in October.

Yudhoyono, 59, has been credited with some successes in his first term, including stabilising the economy, cracking down on deep-rooted graft and bringing peace to the rebellious Aceh province.

Analysts said his resounding victory gives him a stronger mandate to pick professionals for his next cabinet and push through reforms as he faces a daunting task of tackling the effects of the global economic crisis.

Last week's bombings on two luxury hotels in Jakarta, which killed nine people including two suspected suicide bombers, have raised fears of a return of instability to the world's most populous Muslim nation after a few years of calm.

Police suspect the attacks were the work of Islamic extremists linked to Jemaah Islamiyah, a militant group.

Experts hailed this month's peaceful election as an indication of how Indonesia has come a long way since the turmoil that marked former dictator Suharto's departure in 1998.

A decade ago, South-East Asia's largest economy was in shambles, being hard-hit by the region's 1997-98 financial crisis.

Until a few years ago, Indonesia still grappled with a separatist insurgency in Aceh, deadly bombings carried out by Islamic militants and Muslim-Christian violence in the east of the country.

IANS


First Published: Friday, July 24, 2009, 11:36


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