News / Asia

Indonesia's Post-Election Surveys to Face Audit

Election commission official Dedi Saidi, left, reads document stating the number of votes collected in ballot boxes, Bendungan Hilir, Jakarta, July 10, 2014.
Election commission official Dedi Saidi, left, reads document stating the number of votes collected in ballot boxes, Bendungan Hilir, Jakarta, July 10, 2014.
Fatiyah Wardah

The Indonesian Public Opinion Survey Association says it will audit results of several post-ballot surveys that show dramatically different results for the country's presidential election.

Shortly after the polls closed Wednesday, seven pollsters sampled the quick counts of polling stations and projected that Joko Widodo had won the election by four or five percent. 

However, at least two pollsters did the same sampling and announced that Prabowo Subianto was victorious by one to five percent. The conflicting results have sparked controversy, and both men subsequently claimed victory. 

Hamdi Muluk, chairman of the Board of Ethics Indonesian Public Opinion Survey Association, told VOA's Indonesian service that such differences would not occur if all of the pollsters used scientific standards and codes of conduct that uphold objectivity. 

"It is essential to make sure that the democratic political process is not undermined by opportunistic agencies that try to manipulate quick counts for their own special interests," he said, adding that his group will audit the data and collection methods of each pollster and impose tough sanctions if any are found to have broken ethical standards. 

He did not say what those sanctions might be.

Officials with the General Elections Commission (KPU) have asked all parties to await official results on July 22.

"It is the responsibility of the election commission to accurately count all votes up to the national level," said KPU Commissioner Juri Ardiantoro. "We have to see these quick counts as a way for the public to participate in the election process, and each polling agency needs to be accountable for what they make public."

Current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called for calm, asking the public to refrain from mass public gatherings, and summoned the two candidates for talks.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.

  • An election official holds up a ballot paper during the counting of votes cast in the country's presidential election, in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 9, 2014.
  • A man take a rest near ballot boxes at Bendungan Hilir in Jakarta, July 10, 2014.
  • Supporters of Jakarta governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo celebrate during an official vote count for the country's presidential election in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 9, 2014.
  • Supporters of Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto cheer after he declared victory in the country's presidential election in Jakarta, July 9, 2014.
  • Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto talks to journalists after casting his ballot at a polling station in Bogor, Indonesia, July 9, 2014.
  • Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo, popularly known as "Jokowi," and his wife Iriana, show their inked fingers after casting their ballots during the presidential election in Jakarta, July 9, 2014.
  • Supporters of Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto shout slogans in Jakarta, July 9, 2014.
  • Villagers line up to vote in the country's presidential election at Bojong Koneng polling station in Bogor, Indonesia, July 9, 2014.
  • A poster with images of Indonesian presidential candidates with their running mates is displayed at a polling station in the presidential election in Bali, Indonesia, July 9, 2014.
  • A woman poses with her baby after casting her ballot in Indonesia's presidential election in Brambang Darussalam, Bondowoso, East Java, Indonesia, July 9, 2014.

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