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Indonesia declares Prabowo Subianto president-elect after court rejects rivals’ appeal

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s electoral commission formally declared Prabowo Subianto president-elect in a ceremony on Wednesday, after the country’s highest court rejected challenges to his landslide victory lodged by two losing presidential candidates.

Subianto, who is currently defense minister, won the election with 58.6% of the votes, or more than 96 million ballots, more than twice the amount received by either of the other two candidates. But his rivals alleged that his victory had depended on large-scale fraud and widespread state interference.

Authorities blocked streets leading to the General Election Commission compound, where more than 4,200 police and soldiers were deployed. Wearing matching long-sleeved white shirts, Subianto and vice president elect Gibran Rakabuming Raka waved to their supporters as they arrived at the building.

“The race has finished… the tough contest, with sometimes heated debates, is over,” Subianto said during the ceremony, attended by the country’s political elite, including rival candidate Anies Baswedan and his running mate Muhaimin Iskandar. “And now our people demand that political leaders must work together and collaborate for the people’s welfare and to eliminate poverty and corruption in Indonesia,” Subianto said.

Subianto will take office in October, succeeding the popular Joko Widodo, the country’s first president from outside the Jakarta elite.

The General Election Commission certified the election results on March 20, but the formal declaration ceremony was put on hold following legal challenges from rival candidates, former Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan and former Central Java Gov. Ganjar Pranowo, who sought to annul the result and demand a revote.

They also alleged