Final Results of the 2014 Presidential Election in Indonesia Announced

Publication Date: 
22 Jul 2014

News Type:

On July 22, 2014 at 9:10 p.m. the General Election Commission of Indonesia (Komisi Pemilihan Umum, KPU) declared Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla winners of the July 9, 2014 presidential election. Of the 135 million votes cast Jokowi received 71 million, taking 53.15% of the valid votes and winning by a 6.3% margin. Of 33 provinces, 23 saw a majority for Jokowi. Quick counts from eight credible and trusted pollsters track closely with the official results. This is also the case with data from kawalpemilu.org, a crowd-sourced results tracking website. This reinforces the credibility of the official result and shows the importance of such efforts in ensuring transparency and accountability of the electoral process.

Joko Widodo, known popularly as Jokowi, was elected Governor of Jakarta in July 2012. He entered politics in 2005 when he became the mayor of Surakarta in Central Java. Prior to that, he manufactured and sold furniture. His running mate is veteran politician Jusuf Kalla, who served as Indonesia's Vice President from 2004-2009. While most politicians in Indonesia come from groups considered elite, such as family dynasties, the military or the intelligentsia, Jokowi defies this narrative. He grew up in a slum and started his business from scratch. He built his political career away from Jakarta, making use of Indonesia's decentralization efforts, which have allowed elections to transition from a party-centered system to a candidate-centered system. Since 2004, the President and Vice President have been elected directly by the people.

Some senior experts have deemed this election as the best in Indonesia's history. An outdated, decentralized voter register was transformed into the world's largest, centralized, computerized voter registration system, SIDALIH, which delivers far better lists than in the past. On Election Day, there were few technical shortcomings. Although slightly lower than the 73% of the electorate that turned out in the 2009 presidential election, the 70.59% voter turnout rate for this election is still an impressive participation rate by any international measure. Election Day unfolded in a celebratory environment with neighborhoods coming together at 470,000 highly decentralized polling stations set up in the streets. The vote and the count at each polling station took place transparently in front of the community; and, last but not least, the process saw negligible violence and no one was seriously injured. 

However, the election was not without flaws and substantial possibilities for future improvements are evident. The fiercely contested election saw serious campaign violations and the introduction of more sophisticated campaign techniques, such as an increase in vote buying, openly negative attacks and organized slander. In addition, there were numerous and diverse procedural mistakes in the vote, count and tabulation. None of these tipped the result one way or the other, but together show the need for tighter procedures and better training of the 4 million polling station officials. Finally, an arcane and prolonged 13-day manual results tabulation could be replaced by a modern electronic election results system that is capable of producing official results within a day.

Just hours before the final result was to be announced, Prabowo declared his withdrawal from the tabulation process alleging widespread fraud against him and his witnesses did not sign the final recapitulation paperwork. With the final results declared, the electoral process moves to its final stage where the candidates can file their complaints about the results with the Constitutional Court. Their cases will be adjudicated by August 22. While some had hoped this could be avoided by a concession, it must be remembered that this electoral dispute resolution process and the possibility to have your complaints heard are fundamental parts of a healthy democracy. If a complaint is handled well by the court, it should be considered further proof of the country's democratic progression. With 135 million votes cast, Indonesia is home to the world's largest one-day election, just ahead of the United States. This vibrant and promising democracy has, with the 2014 election, taken a decisive step forward in its democratic consolidation.


Opening ceremony for the 2014 Presidential Elections, July 2014. Photo: Purnomo.
Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. for the July 9, 2014 presidential election with swearing-in of the polling station officials. Many polling stations in Indonesia have a theme and are decorated accordingly. This specific polling station chose to honor the World Cup and polling station officials wore shirts depicting the world cup semi-finalists.


Voters sign the polling stations attendance list, July 2014. Photo: Purnomo. Polling station officials welcome voters, examine their documents, and check their names on the voter list. Voters sign the attendance list and proceed to receive their ballot and vote.


Women queuing to enter the polling station at a Jakarta area women's prison, July 2014. Photo: Purnomo. Women queue to vote in Rutan Pondok Bambu Women's Prison in Jakarta for the presidential election on July 9, 2014. Allowing prisoners to vote exhibits international best practices as this often marginalized group is able to participate in the democratic process and have a say in the future of their country. (read story here)


Voting at RSCM hospital in Jakarta, July 2014. Photo: Oktri Yusroh. Special polling stations were opened in several hospitals in Indonesia to allow patients to vote during the presidential election on July 9, 2014. Voters are pictured here at Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusumo (RSCM) Hospital in Jakarta.


Voting at RSCM hospital in Jakarta, July 2014. Photo: Oktri Yusroh. A polling station official tips the ballot box to allow a patient from Jakarta's Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusumo (RSCM) Hospital to cast her vote in this special polling station set up for Indonesia's presidential election.


Presidential candidate Jokowi and his wife showing their ballots on Election Day, July 2014. Photo: Oktri Yusroh.


Jokowi and his wife showing their inked fingers on Election Day, July 2014. Photo: Oktri Yusroh. Jokowi and his wife voted at a polling station in Menteng, Jakarta.


Polling station officials emptying the ballot box for counting, July 2014. Photo: Oktri Yusroh. During the July 9, 2014 Presidential Election in Indonesia polling was held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shortly thereafter an immediate and transparent vote count was conducted at the polling station.