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INDONESIA POLLS: Prabowo wants delay in tally result announcement
Publication Date : 20-07-2014
The campaign team of Gerindra Party presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto made a surprise call to the General Elections Commission (KPU) on Saturday to postpone the announcement of the official vote tally result, scheduled for July 22.
The Prabowo camp had been adamant the public should only wait for the announcement on July 22 and should ignore results from quick counts conducted by a number of pollsters.
However, Prabowo’s legal team now said the KPU must postpone the announcement given that many allegations of election violations had not been addressed in thousands of polling stations in Jakarta and East Java.
“We made the call because of findings from the Jakarta Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) regarding problems in 5,841 polling stations in Jakarta, where there were 220,000 illegal voters,” Prabowo campaign lawyer Habiburokhman told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
He added that East Java Bawaslu had also found around 170,000 “illegal” voters who had cast their votes in locations different than addresses on their identity cards (KTP), in six regencies in East Java.
Despite the irregularities, the KPU only conducted revotes in 13 polling stations in Jakarta on Saturday.
“Therefore, we’ve filed the demand to the KPU this afternoon and we will formally discuss the issue tomorrow,” Habiburokhman said.
He said a postponement in announcing the election result was possible under the Election Law.
“The law stipulates that the announcement (of the national vote tally) can be conducted within 30 days of the ballot (on July 9),” Habiburokhman said.
The chairman of Prabowo’s campaign team, former Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD, asked supporters of Prabowo to drop their plan to stage a rally around KPU headquarters in Central Jakarta on July 22.
“If I may make the call, please drop the plan. We don’t need to secure the KPU because the job is in the hands of the police and the TNI [Indonesian Military]. The KPU is independent and should be free of intervention,” Mahfud said as quoted by kompas.com. He revealed he would not be present at the announcement and would instead watch on television.
Earlier, an advisor to Prabowo’s campaign team, Yunus Yosfiah, said thousands of Prabowo supporters were expected to descend on KPU headquarters on July 22 in anticipation of the KPU’s announcement.
Yunus said the presence of the supporters was not meant to cause unrest but instead secure KPU headquarters.
Meanwhile, the campaign team of presidential front-runner Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, called on its supporters to stay at home on July 22 so as not to be provoked by certain groups bent on creating unrest.
The campaign team also called on its supporters to no longer wear Jokowi’s trademark checkered shirts, especially after reports the shirt was worn by a group of protesters who staged a rally on Friday calling for the rejection of the KPU’s announcement.
The Jokowi camp said the group had nothing to do with its campaign.
“Starting today, I want you to no longer wear anything related to number 2, everything from checkered shirts, T-shirts, avatars, anything. Just go back to ‘Indonesia Raya’,” Jokowi said on Friday, referring to the country’s national anthem.
Prabowo, meanwhile, said on Saturday that he had been invited by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to a meeting at the State Palace on Sunday.
Yudhoyono has also invited Jokowi to attend.
The President arranged the meeting to allow both tickets to pledge their willingness to accept whatever result emerges on July 22.
“Whoever invites me, I will attend. That’s part of our custom,” Prabowo said as quoted by kompas.com.
The KPU said it would not postpone the announcement of the official vote count result.
“We’ll stick to our plan, as stipulated in KPU Regulation Number 4/2014. The schedule of the multi-tiered recapitulation, from the lowest level at the polling station to the highest level at the national level, is already fixed,” said KPU legal division head Nur Syarifah.