Indonesia awaits new president

Almost there: General Elections Commission (KPU) officials work on the last day of national vote recapitulation in Jakarta, Monday. The KPU is scheduled to announce the winner of the July 9 presidential election Tuesday. JP/Wendra Ajistyatama

Almost there: General Elections Commission (KPU) officials work on the last day of national vote recapitulation in Jakarta, Monday. The KPU is scheduled to announce the winner of the July 9 presidential election Tuesday. JP/Wendra Ajistyatama

Despite complaints from the Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa presidential candidate ticket, the General Elections Commission (KPU) has invited the pair, along with front-runner Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate Jusuf Kalla, to attend the announcement of the 2014 presidential election result today.

KPU chairman Husni Kamil Manik said on Monday that neither ticket was obliged to come to the meeting to officiate the winner, but both were welcome to attend.

“The national tabulation process has run well and there is no doubt that we will announce the winner tomorrow,” he said.

The KPU is scheduled to declare the winner at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The official vote tally at the KPU headquarters in Jakarta had reviewed results from 22 of 33 provinces as of Monday night. According to earlier vote-count results, Jokowi-Kalla was in the lead with a total of 41,127,377 votes, or 51.4 percent of the total of about 80 million legitimate votes.

Jokowi was winning in 14 provinces while Prabowo was leading in the remaining eight provinces.

The historic announcement of the election result on Tuesday is expected to end the sharp rivalry between the two presidential tickets, which created a polarized and unprecedented political atmosphere nationwide.

Voters have been vigilant in guarding the ballots, from polling stations to the national level. In the absence of direct tabulations from the KPU, community groups have scrutinized the election commission’s website to download recapitulation forms from polling stations, known as C1 forms, and report corrections to ensure that no vote-rigging occurred.

The Prabowo camp has requested that the elections commission postpone the result announcement, pending investigations into allegations of cheating as well as requests for revotes at more polling stations.

Husni dismissed the suggestion that any serious problems occurred during the national tabulation, despite the complaints, saying that any issues regarding the results should have been settled at Regional General Elections Commissions (KPUDs), as the KPU’s role, according to the law, was only to coordinate the results and announce the winner of the election.

In its latest attempt to delay the announcement, Prabowo’s legal team reported the KPU to the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) on Monday for violating Article 247 of the Elections Law.

The article stipulates that KPU members who do not conduct revotes in certain polling stations, as regulated by the law, could face a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment and Rp 24 million (US$2074) in fines.

“We initially went to the National Police to report the case. But the police asked us to go to Bawaslu, which has the authority to investigate all election-related cases,” Husni said over the phone.

Election and Democracy Watchdog (Perludem) executive director Titi Anggraini said that there was no need to delay the vote tally.

“The 2008 Elections Law stipulates that the election process can only be halted under particular circumstances, such as natural disasters or major riots. We aren’t facing those conditions now, so there is no reason to halt the process,” she said, referring to Article 165 of the law.

Responding to Prabowo’s claim that the presidential election was rife with violations, Titi suggested that the number of election violations in the period was lower than in the April 9 legislative election.

In anticipation of the announcement, Jokowi supporters have stated that they will remain at home and will not celebrate if Jokowi won.

Jokowi said that he would monitor the announcement from his home in Menteng, Jakarta.

Prabowo’s supporters said they would come to the KPU office to “guard” the results and support the election commission.

The Jakarta Police will ensure that the official announcement at the KPU office as well as nearby areas, including the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, remain secure.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said that there were 3,421 police personnel deployed to guard the KPU building on Monday and Tuesday. He added that as many as 32,000 personnel from the Jakarta Police, National Police and military were on standby. JP


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