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Prabowo wants two-week delay in announcing presidential poll result

Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto wants a two-week delay in announcing the result of the election to allow investigations into allegations of mass cheating, a top aide said on Tuesday.

JAKARTA: Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto wants a two-week delay in announcing the result of the election to allow investigations into allegations of mass cheating, a top aide said on Tuesday.

The results are expected at around 4:00 pm (0900 GMT) Tuesday once the Elections Commission completes the final checks.

"All we are asking for is time to study (the allegations). I think we are being reasonable," Prabowo's aide and younger brother, Hashim Djojohadikusumo, told Reuters. He said he believed the actual voting showed that Prabowo was the winner.

Most unofficial counts put his rival Joko Widodo just ahead in what has been the tightest presidential race in Indonesia's history.

The election stand-off has emerged as a major challenge for the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation 16 years after decades of authoritarian rule came to a chaotic end.

"It's the biggest test of the electoral system since 1999," said Jakarta-based political analyst Paul Rowland, referring to the year of the first free election in Indonesia after the Suharto era.

While reliable pollsters and private websites monitoring the tally predict a victory of several points for Widodo, Prabowo insists his opponent has cheated and says he will not accept the result if he loses. His team has earlier vowed to contest a losing result at the Constitutional Court. 

While experts say a challenge could create uncertainty, they see it as unlikely to succeed, given that Widodo looks to have won by millions of votes.

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