Jul 21, 2014

Indonesia - INDONESIA POLLS: Members of Prabowo’s team raise white flag

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Members of a coalition supporting the Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa presidential ticket have conceded defeat following the release of a temporary real count by Indonesia's General Elections Commission (KPU) that shows the ticket has lost to the party of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate Jusuf Kalla.

According to counts based on votes at the subdistrict and regency/municipality level by several independent observers, the Jokowi-Kalla ticket leads with about 52 per cent of the vote.

The KPU is expected to announce the final result on Tuesday.

“The election has been completed and my job is complete. I’ve failed the Prabowo-Hatta ticket,” said Mahfud MD, the head of Prabowo’s campaign team, during a televised interview with Metro TV.

“I don’t care about the politics surrounding the election.”

The former Constitutional Court chief justice added that any attempts to conduct revotes in polling stations or postpone the announcement of the result would not make much difference, as it would not stop vote rigging practices that he claimed had taken place on both sides.

Similarly, senior National Mandate Party (PAN) politician Amien Rais, also a member of the Prabowo-Hatta team, reportedly passed a message around the party’s lawmakers, asking all members to accept defeat to Jokowi-Kalla.

Several PAN lawmakers have confirmed the circulated text message.

PAN deputy chairman Drajad Wibowo declined to comment on the validity of the message, emphasizing that “Pak Amien is a statesman, an ulama [religious leader] and a true democrat who puts the interests of the people above all.”

“Pak Amien is not the final decision maker in the coalition as it’s a multi-party coalition. However, he is always a role model in PAN,” Drajad said as quoted by kompas.com.

The vote tally reached the national level on Sunday as regional election committees gathered to present provincial results in a plenary

Witnesses from the Jokowi camp voiced their suspicions about the high number of invalid votes in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and Aceh.

“In NTB, this mostly happened in Lombok Timur Tinggi regency,” said Sudyatmiko Ariwibowo of the Jokowi team.

KPU chairman Husni Kamil Manik said nothing “extraordinary” had caused the high number of invalid voters, but promised to follow up the findings in the near future.

Prabowo’s camp questioned the high number of additional voters who were not listed in Riau Islands, saying there was a mobilization of women workers in the Riau Islands to vote for a particular candidate.

“Many residents in Batam do not have identity documents related to Batam, Riau Islands, so they are not registered in the primary lists. But according to KPU regulations, unregistered voters can cast their votes by showing a letter of current domicile,” Riau Islands General Elections Commission (KPUD) chairman Said Sirajuddin said.

As of press time, the KPU has announced nine provinces, with Jokowi leading, winning five provinces, while the other four favored Prabowo-Hatta.

Jokowi won West Kalimantan, Riau Islands, Jambi, Bangka Belitung and Yogyakarta.

Prabowo saw strong support in NTB, Aceh, South Sumatra and South Kalimantan.

The plenary session is still completing the process for the provinces of Bengkulu, West Java and West Sulawesi.

Prabowo expressed confidence he would win and slammed reports of his team members acknowledging defeat, branding them “misleading”.

Margareth S. Aritonang, Ina Parlina and Haeril Halim

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