Prabowo Refuses to Concede Defeat

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. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

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. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

Jakarta. Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has refused to concede defeat in Wednesday’s presidential election, claiming that based on quick count results by a handful of pollsters, he is ahead of opponent Joko Widodo.

“Based on quick count results by polling institutions that we use as a benchmark, we have received a mandate from the people of Indonesia,” Prabowo said in a televised press conference.

He also took to Twitter to thank the people of Indonesia for having trusted him to lead the nation.

“I am very grateful, touched and honored with this great trust. Thank you,” Prabowo said.

Joko’s camp had earlier in the afternoon declared their victory, with Megawati Soekarnoputri, the chairwoman of Joko’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), leading a separate press conference at her house in Kebagusan, South Jakarta.

The PDI-P’s declaration was based on quick count results by leading pollsters such as Kompas, Indonesia Survey Circle (LSI), Saiful Mudjani Research and Consulting (SMRC),the  Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as well as state-run Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI), which all gave Joko roughly 52 percent to Prabowo’s 48 percent.

The pollsters that Prabowo cited, including the Center of Policy and Strategic Development (Puskaptis) and the National Survey Institution (LSN), gave him just over 50 percent, with Joko less than a percentage point behind.

Members of Prabowo’s camp called on the public not to be provoked by the early declaration from Joko’s camp.

“This is a form of agitation and propaganda from the camp next door,” said Andre Rosiadi, a member of Prabowo and Hatta’s campaign team.

He said the announcement, which campaign spokesman Tantowi Yahya had also dubbed “premature,” was a strategy put together by Joko’s camp.

“They are [deliberately] creating such an opinion so that when the KPU” — General Elections Commission — “makes its final announcement of the results and Joko loses, there will be allegations that Prabowo and the government cheated,” Andre said.

Ade Armando, a researcher at SMRC, said he was confident that his institution’s quick count would not differ much from the KPU’s vote count, due on July 22.

“We’re not just stating this. We are certain that there will be no further changes. Even if there are [changes], it will only be a zero point something percent. We are sure the final result is that Joko has won,” he said.

Ade urged the public to rely on credible polling stations, warning that other pollsters out there could be publishing quick count results to create confusion among the public.

The SMRC quick count shows Joko leading Prabowo by 52.91 percent to 47.09 percent, with 99.3 percent of polling stations accounted for. JG

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