Top Stories


    Jul 21, 2014

    Prabowo won't accept polls result


    INDONESIAN presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto said yesterday that he will not accept the election result due to be announced in coming days, accusing the Elections Commission of not properly investigating alleged cheating in the polls.

    The Elections Commission is due to announce tomorrow the winner of Indonesia's closest presidential election ever.

    A protracted wrangle over the result could begin to undermine confidence in South-east Asia's biggest economy.

    Monitoring of ballot counts by private groups last week, and quick counts shortly after the July 9 election by reputable pollsters, showed Mr Prabowo's rival, Jakarta Governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo was set to win.

    But Mr Prabowo said voting had to be held again in certain areas, in line with the recommendation of an election watchdog group.

    "If they don't, then that is a crime. This very much calls into question the legitimacy of the whole process," Mr Prabowo told reporters.

    Fadli Zon, vice-secretary-general of Mr Prabowo's Gerindra party, said they had evidence of many instances of cheating.

    "We ask the election committee to solve this problem with recounting," Mr Zon told reporters.

    "We will not accept (it)," he said of the result, adding that the announcement should be delayed until the problem had been resolved.

    Analysts said Mr Prabowo would find it difficult to provide the necessary evidence to justify delaying the election results.

    "Prabowo's team would need to have some idea of how the irregularities added up to justify asking the (Elections Commission) not to release the election result," said Paul Rowland, a Jakarta-based political analyst.

    "The problems with the counting process and even intimidation or violence on election day have been relatively insignificant," he said.

    Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged Indonesians yesterday to "safeguard the final chapter" of the country's presidential election, saying the July 9 vote was democratic and peaceful.

    Even if Mr Joko is declared the winner, the fight may not be over straight away as Mr Prabowo will challenge the results in the Constitutional Court, claiming widespread vote-rigging.