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Yudhoyono urges presidential election loser to concede

Indonesia's outgoing leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono came within a whisker of telling retired general Prabowo Subianto to admit defeat in the bitterly contested presidential election.

JAKARTA: Indonesia's outgoing leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday urged presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto to concede defeat in the elections.

"Admitting defeat is noble," President Yudhoyono told reporters in a clear reference to Prabowo.

Prabowo's party on Sunday said he will not accept the official election result, claiming there was evidence of electoral cheating. Prabowo demanded the Elections Commission to investigate vote cheating before he would accept the result.

Media reports have indicated Widodo is leading with more than 53 per cent of the vote - ahead of Prabowo with 46 per cent.

This election has been the tightest and most divisive in Indonesia since the downfall of Suharto in 1998. There are fears that a protracted wrangle over the election outcome could undermine confidence in Southeast Asia's biggest economy as growth sits at four-year lows, foreign investment slows and corruption remains rife.

Prabowo's relutance to concede defeat has led to concerns that his supporters may turn violent. Some have threatened to rally outside the Elections Commission (KPU) office in central Jakarta ahead of the official result.

The election commission is expected to announce the official results on July 22 but the loser may contest them in the Constitutional Court, which has until the end of August to make a ruling.

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