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Indonesian president-elect Widodo gets down to business

Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo was back at work as the governor of Jakarta on Wednesday (July 23), one day after winning the election. He has called for unity in the nation, as his team focuses on his presidency.

JAKARTA: Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo was back at work as the governor of Jakarta on Wednesday (July 23), one day after winning the election. His term of leave had expired, and so it was back to business, dealing with the Jakarta provincial parliament to pass several local laws for the capital.

Widodo will not be inaugurated as president until October, but his team has been acutely focused on his presidency and has reacted to rival candidate Prabowo Subianto's announcement that he will challenge the results of the election, after initially declaring that he had withdrawn from the race.

Todung Mulya Lubis, Widodo’s legal advocate, said: "My personal opinion is, he has lost his legal standing because he said he quit from all this process. He rejected the whole process and therefore he's out of the system. He's out of the process, therefore there's no legal standing left."

Todung added he felt that Prabowo's objections set a bad precedent and has weakened Indonesia's democracy. He also said Widodo has expressed hopes of meeting with Prabowo soon.

Prabowo's legal challenge is threatening to prolong the political uncertainty in Indonesia, but Widodo has called for Indonesia to unite, in his victory speech late Tuesday.

He said: "We, Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla, urge our brothers of the nation to return to our historic faith as a united nation, one nation, Indonesia."

It seemed the people of Indonesia are heeding that call.

A voter said: "We ask for best way forward. Let's reconcile. That's what I feel. Most people want peace.”

Their voices echoed a poll conducted just before the results were announced, which found that nine out of 10 Indonesians hoped that whoever is declared the loser would accept defeat gracefully and concede. 

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