Bambang declared clear winner

As the final tally gives Bambang 60.6% of votes, Megawati supporters allege fraud and threaten to file a complaint.

Former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday said he would form the next government and formulate a 100-day programme after being declared the runaway winner of last month’s presidential election in Indonesia.

Amid the euphoria in the Bambang camp, supporters of outgoing president Megawati Sukarnoputri disputed the result, threatening to file a complaint for electoral fraud.

Her spokesman Arif Wibowo told reporters there were irregularities in several provinces despite foreign and local election observers having found none. ‘We may go to the Constitutional Court for this,’ he warned.

But the General Elections Commission (KPU), in a snub to Ms Megawati’s senior aides who requested that the results be held back until today, went ahead to release them as counting had been completed.

The KPU also made it clear that the results were valid. It said that of more than 110 million votes, 60.6 per cent had been for Mr Bambang, compared to 39.4 per cent for Ms Megawati.

The 55-year-old former general, who will be sworn in on Oct 20, has begun drawing up plans for his new administration.

Speaking before the announcement, he said his immediate aim was to form a new government and plan for his first 100 days in office.

‘I will get down to work soon … so that the people will know that the new government will start to work immediately to reach the desired goals,’ he said.

Sources told The Straits Times that the Bambang administration is likely to be styled after the White House, with two powerful councils set up to tackle the country’s two most gripping issues – security and economic recovery.

One of the major challenges he faced was lining up his ministers.

Here, conflicting priorities were at play.

On the one hand, he had to reward loyalists and political parties with positions.

But on the other, he had to fulfil his pledge for more professionals in government.

A Cabinet list is likely to be finalised only at the eleventh hour, but a number of figures have emerged as likely candidates for key portfolios.

Three generals are in line for appointments in the State Secretariat and security posts – Mr Bambang’s trusted aide and long-time military friend Sudi Silalahi, former military commander A.S. Widodo and retired two-star general Syamsul Muarif.

The economic czar is likely to be respected academic Ersa Tandjung from the University of Indonesia.

Three US-trained economists are being lined up for economic posts.

One of them is Dr Sri Mulyani, who spent a year in the International Monetary Fund in charge of South-east Asian affairs.

She is being tipped to take over the finance ministry.

Dr Mari Pangestu, the former executive director of the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, is being considered for the trade and industry portfolio.

And Bambang loyalist Joyo Winoto, who heads the Brighten Institute think-tank, is likely to head the National Planning Board.

Mr Bambang did not outline his 100-day programme.

But his spokesman Muhammad Lutfi told The Straits Times that his immediate aim would be to resolve the combustible issue of price hikes for fuel and food staples.

‘When he enters the palace, it will coincide with the fasting month. He will do his best to make sure that Indonesians will not be adversely affected by rising prices during the holy month.’

Yesterday, Mr Bambang preferred to stay away from the public glare despite being declared the winner.

Mr Lutfi said that he wanted to wait until Ms Megawati had spoken first about the result.

‘From day one, he has weighed the issue of reconciliation,’ he said.

He had tried to reach out to Ms Megawati since quitting her Cabinet as chief security minister in March to run, but she has barely acknowledged his presence in public.

An aide to her influential husband Taufik revealed: ‘It is a loss of face for Ibu Mega. She is very emotional about her defeat. She thought she would always be the queen.

‘How do you expect her to kowtow to Bambang who was once her minister?’

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