Indonesia elections: Prabowo alleges fraud, says he will reject official vote tally

Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto with his supporters who gathered outside his home in Jakarta on April 19, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA - Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto said on Tuesday (May 14) that he will reject the official vote count by the elections commission when it releases the result of the April 17 polls, setting the stage for a political stand-off in Indonesia.

"I will be rejecting the results of the election vote count, a result that is based on fraudulent tabulations," said the former army general, who challenged incumbent Joko Widodo for the presidency.

Speaking at a briefing organised by his election campaign committee (BPN) in Jakarta, entitled "Uncovering the facts behind the 2019 presidential election electoral fraud", Mr Prabowo repeated his allegation of vote-rigging and added that his team has gathered evidence to support his claims.

According to his campaign chairman, Mr Djoko Santoso, "countless acts of fraud in the election" uncovered by their team of experts cost Mr Prabowo and his running mate Sandiaga Uno votes.

Mr Djoko added that a number of technical experts have exposed multiple examples of fraudulent behaviour before, during, and after the election, and these include the existence of millions of fictitious names on the final voters list, money politics, the exploitation of the state apparatus, ballot papers with votes already cast, and data entry mistakes by the General Elections Commission (KPU).

"A few days ago, we sent a letter to the KPU, and we asked them to conduct an IT audit on their system, we asked and we pleaded for them to stop their vote counting and data entry system, which has structurally, systematically, and massively suppressed legitimate votes casted for Prabowo-Sandi," he said.

Mr Prabowo, who came out to declare himself the winner of the presidential election last month has repeatedly stood by his claim that he won 62 per cent of the votes, despite unofficial quick counts and interim results by the KPU showing otherwise.

The elections commission has until May 22 to release its official count of the presidential election, which saw a surprise record turn-out of voters, who were also casting their ballots for as many as four other levels of local government across Indonesia.

This has resulted in a longer vote counting process, which has led to an uneasy tension in Indonesia, particularly with Mr Prabowo expected to challenge the results as he did following his loss to Mr Joko at the last presidential race in 2014.

As of Tuesday night, the KPU had completed more than 82 per cent of the national tally, and its interim results continue to show the President and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin winning 56 per cent of the votes to the 44 per cent garnered by Mr Prabowo and Mr Sandiaga.

Last week, Mr Prabowo offered to help the Indonesian authorities in an audit of the elections, even as the current administration warned that it would get tough on those out to delegitimise the electoral process.

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