JAKARTA, Indonesia – A day after Indonesia’s historic election, presidential frontrunner Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo told reporters he was confident of his win, but called on people to monitor the results.
Jokowi’s camp declared victory on Wednesday, July 9, based on quick count results a mere 90 minutes after polling centers closed. An hour later, his rival, former Prabowo Subianto, announced that their own quick counts showed he was leading and claimed victory as well.
Responding to criticisms he may have declared too early, Jokowi said what he did was not unusual.
“It’s normally like that. During the gubernatorial election, there was a quick count as well, right? And then at around 3pm, when it was almost done, Pak Fauzi (Bowo, his rival), conceded, congratulated me, said ‘you won, you’re the governor’,” he said.
“It’s the same. The quick count methodology is scientific. We can rely on this methodology, there’s no problem.”
Analysts and observers agree that the quick counts that put Jokowi in the lead with 52-53% of the votes were carried out by the more credible polling institutes in Indonesia, with good track records of predicting election results.
“[Victory] is clear from the quick count results of 7 credible polling institutes,” he said.
But Jokowi refused to talk about plans for once he is in office, saying he would wait until the official results are announced by the General Election Commission (KPU) on July 22. In a press conference earlier on Thursday, he once again called on people to monitor the recapitulation of the votes.
“I want to stress that our task is not done yet even if the election is done,” Jokowi said. “Our job is to monitor the election results until it’s officially tallied by KPU.”
He added that they have asked all of their volunteers and supporters to monitor the counting process from the polling stations to the towns, subdistricts, districts and KPU.
“As long as it’s well monitored, the process will go well. We also ask for KPU and the government to participate so that a fair and honest election can be achieved this 2014,” he said.
When asked whether he thinks Prabowo should concede, Jokowi said, “I believe Prabowo is a statesman who will place the interest of his nation above everything else. I believe after KPU’s official tally, he will accept the results.”
Responding to a question about his ties to Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri, Jokowi maintained he’s independent.
“I respect Megawati. I have very high respects for Megawati. But I am very independent. And this has been proven,” he said.
“When I was mayor and governor, there was no intervention. So if people say I am just a puppet of Megawati, they are very wrong. I respect Megawati. I have very high respects for Megawati. But I am not a puppet of Megawati.”
During the presscon, Jokowi also condemned the attack on Palestine, calling it a violation of human rights.
“The attack on Gaza strip which killed hundreds is a violation of human rights. It is concerning because there are millions of lives lost,” he said.
“Palestine is important to Indonesians because as a member of the Arab league, they were the first to acknowledge Indonesia’s independence. That’s why we respectfully request Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to actively defend Palestinians in international forums.
“I am good friends with the Palestinian ambassador to Indonesia, and to show my support towards the Palestinians, I condemn Israel’s attack on Gaza strip.” – Rappler.com