Prabowo camp warns it will report poll body to police

Acep Nazmudin

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The General Election Commission (KPU) has ignored the Prabowo camp's demand to postpone the announcement of the official result scheduled for Tuesday

RECAPITULATION. Representatives of presidential candidate Joko Widodo (foreground) participate in the national tabulation by Indonesia's General Elections Commission (KPU) at their headquarters in Jakarta on July 21, 2014. Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

JAKARTA, Indonesia – A lawyer for the Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa campaign said they were considering reporting the General Election Commission (KPU) to the police if it doesn’t postpone the recapitulation of votes, even as calls mount for the election results set to be announced on Tuesday, July 22, to be accepted.  

“We are still going to the DKPP (Election Organizers Ethics Council) today,” the lawyer, Habiburokhman, told reporters at the KPU office in Jakarta on Monday, July 21. “On reporting to the National Police, it’s very likely we are going to the National Police.”

The lawyer explained they were planning to report both the KPU and its regional office in Jakarta (KPUD) for “ignoring the recommendation of the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu)” to hold a re-vote in more than 5,000 polling centers.

Bawaslu said on Saturday that it detected polling irregularities in Jakarta, where voters were able to cast ballots at polling centers that did not correspond to the address listed on their identity card. However, it did not immediately recommend a re-vote. It asked KPU to examine the findings and, if the suspected violations were proven, to then conduct a re-vote. 

On Sunday, Prabowo’s camp called for a postponement in the announcement of the results until the claims are investigated, which the KPU declined. 

Habiburokhman also reiterated that they plan to go to the Constitutional Court to challenge the results of the election.  

KPU commissioner Ferry Kurnia dismissed the statements. “I don’t think it is a threat for us, as we’re conducting an activity that is regulated by law. We are still following the law, and I hope that we all understand this,” he said.

A re-vote in more than 5,000 polling centers, even if held, is unlikely to affect the outcome of the election. Vote tallies from the country’s 34 provinces available on the KPU website show that 53% of the votes cast during the July 9 presidential election went to Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate Jusuf Kalla. (READ: Jokowi-Kalla ticket leads official tally, set for win)

The KPU was on Monday still verifying these provincial tallies and is set to announce the official results on Tuesday. However, with a lead of almost 8.5 million votes – results that mirror credible quick counts and volunteer-based parallel counts – Jokowi and Kalla are expected to be announced winners of Indonesia’s most tightly contested presidential race. (WATCH:#INDOvote: The new dream)

Calls to accept result

On Monday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a statement that has been interpreted as him calling on Prabowo to concede.

“Acknowledging defeat is noble. Congratulating the winner is beautiful. Allah is great. When we lose, we lose, then we congratulate those who succeed, Allah would grant us glory,” he said during a speech at the Hotel Borobudur in Jakarta.

Leaders of political parties that supported Prabowo and Hatta have also issued statements indicating they would accept KPU’s official findings. 

“Acceptance [of KPU’s decision] is a must. This is unless there is obvious cheating,” Agung Laksono, the coordinating minister for people’s welfare, said on Monday. Agung is a member of Golkar Party, the second largest party in the House of Representatives, which has been supporting Prabowo. However, Golkar is seen to be divided and could end up supporting Jokowi if he is named president.

But if [the decision] was announced through an objective and transparant process, and the winner has been declared, then the loser should accept it. For now, I dont want to say that [Prabowo’s camp] is wrong,” Agung continued, though he described the election to have been “open and transparent”.

When asked if he meant there was no need to file a legal challenge, he said: “I didn’t say that, but it is better not to.”

Members of the National Mandate Party (PAN), the party of Prabowo’s running mate Hatta, have also either congratulated Jokowi already or stated they were ready to accept the results.

Hanafi Rais, the son of PAN co-founder Amien Rais, on Sunday already congratulated Jokowi and Kalla.

PAN lawmaker Taslim Chaniago was less direct, but said “whatever the result is, I, as the PAN cadre, will accept it, as this is a process of democracy that we have fought for since the reform era.” – with reports from Zul Sikumbang and ATA/

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