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Indonesian President Widodo leads in voting returns
President Joko Widodo of Indonesia led by a comfortable margin in unofficial returns in his reelection bid on Wednesday, as he appeared to fend off a challenge by a four-time presidential candidate.

Widodo, who is seeking a second five-year term, has made expanding social programs and building roads, airports, seaports and transit lines high priorities, and his approach appeared to be paying off with voters across the sprawling archipelago, nytimes.com reported.

His opponent, Prabowo Subianto, tried to win popular support by attacking “evil elites” who he said had undermined the country.

Unofficial vote counts had Widodo leading by roughly 10 percentage points. Official ballot counts in the far-flung island nation always take weeks, but the winner usually becomes apparent hours after the voting through so-called quick counts, in which independent polling firms tally ballots from a sampling of polling places nationwide.

If Widodo wins as expected, he will continue to face daunting challenges in his second term, including the threat of terrorism, frequent natural disasters, and raising the standard of living for the sprawling country’s huge impoverished population.

Widodo addressed reporters late Wednesday afternoon but stopped short of claiming victory based on the quick count that was still in progress.

“We have seen the results but we have to be patient to wait for the official count by the election commission,” he said.

The official election results will be released sometime between April 25 and May 22.

The president also sought to begin national healing from the campaign, which was heated at times.

 

 

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