Jakarta. The campaign team of Prabowo Subianto has called on the international community to withhold congratulatory statements to president-elect Joko Widodo until the losing presidential candidate has resolved accusations of electoral fraud in the Constitutional Court.
“Prabowo never withdrew from the election process,” spokesman Tantowi Yahya said at the InterContinental Hotel in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. “He withdrew from the recapitulation process.”
This morning’s press conference was attended by Tantowi, lawyer Mahendrata and Prabowo’s chief adviser and patron, Hashim Djojohadikusumo. The conference was announced last night to address whether or not Prabowo had formally withdrawn his candidacy to become Indonesia’s next president.
Prabowo addressed reporters on Tuesday just hours before the official announcement of the vote count and said that he was withdrawing from the counting process — an unexpected spanner in the works that was widely interpreted to mean he was canceling his candidacy.
Joko Widodo was confirmed as president on Tuesday night by the Indonesian General Election Commission (KPU). Joko won 53.15 percent of the vote, while Prabowo received 46.85 percent.
Prabowo has steadfastly refused to yield to the official result, and has maintained throughout that “massive” electoral fraud tainted the 2014 election to the point where the vote, in his view, cannot be regarded as fair.
“We will not surrender our right to hold the KPU … accountable,” Tantowi said. “And we intend to do so through the legal system.”
Tantowi said the campaign team was preparing its challenge to the Constitutional Court.
“We are in the process of preparing our challenge to the [court] MK, which is due in three days” Tantowi said.
“An estimated 50,000 polling stations have reported irregularities, putting an estimated 21 million votes in question,” he said. “The indication of massive fraud and widespread irregularities … is overwhelming.”
“Bawaslu [the Election Supervisory Board] made recommendations to hold revotes in over 5000 polling stations in Jakarta alone as well as in heavily populated counties in East Java.
“This recommendations were completely ignored by the KPU, even though the law allows three days from the election day to investigate,” he said.
The KPU said Prabowo could challenge the integrity of the vote in the Constitutional Court.
“It’s a dangerous precedent for future elections. If we ignore these recommendation, what will we ignore next? This is a very slippery slope,” Tantowi said.
“We respectfully request the international community to withhold any congratulatory statements until due process is complete,” he added.
Prabowo was not present at the press conference. JG