Indonesia's new President Joko Widodo gestures after a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, earlier today. Pic: AP.

Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has won Indonesia’s hotly contested presidential election. The popular former furniture seller won with 53.15% the vote, edging former general Prabowo Subianto on 46.85%, after a hotly contested battle.

+++

EARLIER: Indonesia presidential election candidate Prabowo Subianto withdrew from the election process on Tuesday afternoon, just two hours before the announcement of the official result as his opponent Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo looked certain to be declared winner.

The KPU did not not announce the official result at 4pm local time as scheduled, putting back the announcement until 8pm.

The former general made the announcement Tuesday after a meeting with a leader of his coalition parties while the Election Commission was finalizing the tally of the July 9 election.

“We exercise our constitutional rights by rejecting the presidential election … and retract ourselves from the ongoing process,” the former general said after it emerged that Jokowi was leading with 52 percent of the vote.

Prabowo’s witnesses walked out of the Election Commission count before the final result could be declared.

“Our law team, our witnesses in more than ten provinces have reported extraordinary fraud,” Prabowo said.

Today’s developments came after almost two weeks of allegations of dirty tactics against Prabowo since the fledgling democracy went to the polls on July 9. Early ‘quick counts’ then showed a clear lead for Jokowi, which Prabowo also rejected.

Responding to Prabowo’s statement, Widodo said Tuesday afternoon: “I’m sure Prabowo, as a stateman, will put the national interest above all.”

Associated Press reported earlier in the afternoon:

Nearly complete results in Indonesia’s presidential elections showed Jakarta governor Joko Widodo leading with 52 percent of the vote.

If Widodo holds that edge, that would put him ahead of Prabowo Subianto, a former general, who also has claimed victory.

Election Commission officials are preparing to announce the winner of the July 9 vote later Tuesday after counting results from the last five provinces.

More than 130 million eligible voters across 33 provinces took part in the elections to choose the country’s next president.

About 3,400 policemen were deployed to guard the commission’s building in downtown Jakarta as commissioners and witnesses representing both sides finalized the vote count.