Prabowo insists he won, says his claim cannot be 'stepped on'

Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto (left) gives a salute as his vice presidential running mate Hatta Rajasa (right) and supporters gesture after Prabowo declared victory in Jakarta on July 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto (left) gives a salute as his vice presidential running mate Hatta Rajasa (right) and supporters gesture after Prabowo declared victory in Jakarta on July 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - Indonesia's presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, who claims to have won Wednesday's election, said his rival Joko Widodo's declaration of victory was premature and he was prepared to press his own claim.

"Don't think we can be stepped on, don't think we cannot stand and uphold our laws," Mr Prabowo told supporters in a speech on Wednesday night after assuring them that he had won the tightly-contested race.

Quick counts tallied up by private polling agencies such as CSIS, Kompas and Saifulmujani - which took representative samples as votes were being counted in each ditrict - showed Mr Joko winning by a margin of around five percentage points.

The predictions by these non-partisan agencies, using the same method, had been accurate in the April parliamentary election.

Mr Prabowo, however, contested the reliability of the quick counts that put Mr Joko as the winner and said the "real count" relayed to him by his own representatives, some of whom were provincial governors and local district chiefs, had shown him in the lead.

"West Java governor Ahmad Heryawan called me to say we won 62 per cent. In North Sumatra, we won 63 per cent. In West Sumatra, we won 79 per cent.

"So these are the reports coming in, let's wait, evaluate and analyse as accurately as possible," he said, urging his supporters to keep their patience until the official results came in.

Mr Prabowo's team has cited quick counts by some other pollsters, less well-known, that have put him up to four percentage points ahead of Mr Joko. These include Indonesia Research Centre, Puskaptis, Jaringan Suara Indonesia and Lembaga Survei Nasional

Speaking hours after Mr Joko reaffirmed his victory before hundreds of his supporters in a Jakarta park, Mr Prabowo also said the claim by his rival carried no legal weight.

"Let's not be emotionally influenced, if there are those who wants to claim, or admit or declare (a win), yes, sure you can, but that has no legal weight," he said as his supporters booed.

Official results will be known by July 22.