Indonesia polls: More irregularities reported in vote counting

JAKARTA (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - As Indonesia's General Elections Commission (KPU) continued with its tabulation of the July 9 presidential election results, many have reported alleged irregularities where vote counts were inflated in favour of the Gerindra Party's presidential candidate, Prabowo Subianto.

One of the most blatant acts of tampering occurred in two regencies, Sampang and Bangkalan, in Madura island, East Java, just three days after the voting.

The national campaign team of Joko "Jokowi" Widodo-Jusuf Kalla ticket reported that the pair had won zero votes in a number places in the two regions, which the team said was highly unlikely.

"It completely does not make sense. In every polling station there are at least one or two witnesses from our team who cast their votes at the polling station, not to mention several National Awakening Party (PKB) members and also a number of volunteers from the (Nahdlatul Ulama's youth wing GP) Ansor group. So it is impossible that the Jokowi-Kalla ticket did not get a single vote," Ferry Mursyidan Baldan of Jokowi-Kalla's team said on Saturday in Jakarta.

The PKB is part of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)-led coalition to elect the Jokowi-Kalla ticket.

A manual vote tabulation conducted by the Jokowi-Kalla campaign team showed that the pair won 55.5 percent of the vote in East Java.

Ferry suspected that foul play had taken place.

"It is logical to suspect that something went wrong at the polling stations in Sampang and Bangkalan," Ferry said.

A number of credible polling institutions, whose quick counts in the past have proven accurate predictors of the KPU's official vote tally, indicated that Jokowi won around 52 percent of the vote, with 48 percent going to Prabowo.

Prabowo, however, claimed to have won the election by citing a number of survey institutions whose quick-count results on July 9 were deemed "questionable" by the Indonesian Association for Public Opinion Surveys (Persepi).

Irregularities were also found in West Java.

In Indramayu regency in West Java, one of Prabowo's strongholds, Jokowi-Kalla supporters found additional evidence of vote-rigging.

Ade Sudjarat of the West Java provincial branch of the NasDem Party, another party supporting the Jokowi-Kalla candidacy, said that there was a discrepancy between the total number of votes published on the KPU's website and the total votes written in the recapitulation documents, also known as C1 forms.

In the C1 forms, Jokowi received 569 votes, while Prabowo garnered 486 votes. The results published on the KPU's website showed that Prabowo got 596 votes, while Jokowi only got 590 votes, Ade said.

"Can you imagine that if this is just from three polling stations, what (is happening at) the other polling stations? That's why we try to pool data from one polling station to another to anticipate further irregularities," Ade went on.

Alleged violations have also taken place abroad.

Migrant Care executive director Anis Hidayah suspected that a number of irregularities had taken place in Malaysia.

Anies said that the irregularities allegedly involved ballots being mailed by the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur to the KPU.

The total vote collected by the Prabowo-Hatta ticket was 39,671, while Jokowi secured only 3,709 votes.

Meanwhile, in data recorded manually from all polling stations in Malaysia, Prabowo was credited with 4,099 votes compared to Jokowi's 4,815.

Jokowi-Kalla team spokesperson Eva Kusuma Sundari has called on the KPU and the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) to be transparent regarding vote tabulation from overseas voters, especially in the delivery of ballots from abroad to the KPU, which Eva considered marred with irregularities.

"The Jokowi-Kalla team has urged our witnesses in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia not to sign any documents regarding vote recapitulation before the KPU comes clean about accountability and transparency regarding vote recapitulation abroad," Eva said.

According to manual vote counts, the Jokowi-Kalla ticket won in a majority of countries abroad, but the real-count results dramatically changed after the KPU added votes coming in from overseas voters.

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