DOUBT has been cast on a pledge by France’s president Emmanuel Macron that the restoration of Notre Dame will be completed within five years.

Macron said the renovations to restore the cathedral’s iconic 19th-century spire, vaulting and two-thirds of its roof would be completed in time for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“We will rebuild the cathedral to be even more beautiful and I want it to be finished within five years,” he said. But experts have said that the ambitious timeline appears insufficient for such a massive operation.

Even French prime minister Edouard Philippe – while supporting the government timeline – acknowledged that it would be difficult. “This is obviously an immense challenge, a historic responsibility,” Philippe said.

Prominent French conservation architect Pierluigi Pericolo told Inrocks magazine it could take triple that time.

“No less than 15 years ... it’s a colossal task,” Pericolo said.

MEANWHILE, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has won a second five-year term, according to preliminary election results.

Vote counts from five independent survey groups showed that Widodo, left, has a clear election lead over former general, Prabowo Subianto.

The so-called “quick counts” from reputable survey organisations that use a sample of polling stations have been reliable in past elections.

With 50% to 80% of sample polling stations counted, the survey organisations showed Widodo winning about 55% of the vote.

ELSEWHERE, Peru’s former president Alan Garcia shot himself before being detained by police, his lawyer has said.

Garcia was arrested amid allegations he received illegal payment from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. Lawyer Erasmo Reyna confirmed the shooting yesterday.

Peru’s Health Ministry said Garcia was sent to Jose Casimiro Ulloa Hospital at 6.45am local time for a bullet wound to the head.

A spokesman from the hospital said his condition is delicate.

FINALLY, Sudan’s ruling military has transferred ousted president Omar al-Bashir to a prison in the country’s capital.

Al-Bashir’s move to a proper jail comes as hundreds of people marched to a sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, calling for a quick handover of power to a civilian leadership.

The military last week ousted al-Bashir following months of street protests against his 30-year rule, then appointed a military council it says would rule for no more than two years while elections are organised.