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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Resolve Nuclear Deal Issues

Leaders find resolution on issues of liability of suppliers to India in event of nuclear accident, US demands to track whereabouts of material supplied to country More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid