News / Asia

Likely Loser in Indonesia Presidential Election Says Won't Accept Result Yet

Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto gestures after a meeting with members of his coalition in a hotel in Jakarta, July 20, 2014.
Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto gestures after a meeting with members of his coalition in a hotel in Jakarta, July 20, 2014.
Reuters

The Indonesian ex-general widely thought to have narrowly lost this month's bitterly contested presidential election will not accept the official result until allegations of cheating are investigated, one of his top aides said on Sunday.

The rejection is certain to raise concerns of a protracted wrangle that could undermine confidence in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, or even trigger violence that has so far been almost entirely absent from this election.

By law, the Elections Commission (KPU) must announce the result by July 22.

One commissioner told Reuters there was no need to delay the result announcement.

After the Prabowo Subianto camp previously insisted that it would abide by the KPU's official result of the July 9 election, it suddenly accused it of failing to properly investigate alleged cheating at the polls.

"If they don't, then that is a crime. This very much calls into question the legitimacy of the whole process," the former special forces commander told a hastily called news conference in a Jakarta hotel after meeting his key coalition partners.

Vice secretary general of Prabowo's Gerindra party, Fadli Zon, said there was evidence of many instances of cheating.

"We ask the election committee to solve this problem with recounting," Zon said. "We will not accept [the result]," he said, demanding the announcement be delayed until the problem was resolved.

Asked if he was challenging the credibility of the Elections Commission, Zon said: "Yes, of course."

The Prabowo camp has sounded an increasingly shrill note in the wake of the election, accusing his opponent, Jakarta governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, of jumping the gun by claiming victory shortly after the polls closed.

Both camps have suggested the other was cheating.

However, independent election watchers have praised the Elections Commission for its handling of polling and the transparency during the nearly two-week counting process.

"So it's just too much, it's excessive to say that the KPU is not credible. In fact we have built our credibility with transparency," KPU commissioner Sigit Pamungkas told Reuters.

"So far the counting process is going according to schedule. We have not thought about postponing or making a new rule that alters our schedule."

Quick counts

Jokowi's claim of victory was based on quick counts of a sampling of the about 130 million votes by private pollsters and which have been accurate in the past. Several polls showed Jokowi had won by about five percentage points.

Prabowo has countered that other quick counts show he won. However, two of those pollsters have refused to allow their counts to be audited.

Once the Elections Commission does announce the result, the candidates can challenge it in the Constitutional Court which would likely mean weeks of further delays in formally announcing a new president who would take over in October.

Signaling his concern, outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, before a dinner at the presidential palace on Monday night to which he invited both candidates, called for a peaceful end to the election of the next leader of the world's third largest democracy.

"I urge all the people of Indonesia to safeguard the final chapter of the election process," said Yudhoyono who is coming to the end of his second five-year term.

Indonesia, a member of the G-20 group of nations, was swept by bloodshed in which hundreds of people were killed when strongman ruler Suharto was forced to step down in 1998 after more than three decades in power.

It has since made a slow transition to full democracy, with this only its third direct presidential election.

Analysts said Prabowo would find it difficult to provide the necessary evidence to justify delaying the election results.

Suspected problems at polling stations appear to have been relatively small. Some analysts calculate it would need a change in up to seven million votes to hand Prabowo victory.

"Prabowo's team would need to have some idea of how the irregularities added up to justify asking the [Elections Commission] not to release the election result," said Paul Rowland, a Jakarta-based political analyst.

"The problems with the counting process and even intimidation or violence on election day have been relatively insignificant," he said.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid