IBRAHIM ISAS FOCUSFriday, July 18, 2014
INDONESIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2014
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--- Yudhoyono Guarantees Public Safety Amid Fears of Possible ‘Chaos
---Prabowo’s camp prepares to contest result
-- More irregularities, cheating reported in regions
-- KPU pledges impartiality amid vote-rigging concerns
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Yudhoyono Guarantees Public Safety Amid Fears of Possible Post-Election ‘Chaos’
By Bayu Marhaenjati & Novy Lumanauw on 03:48 pm Jul 17, 2014
Riot control soldiers of the Air Force Special Forces march during a review by the commander of the Indonesian Military (TNI) at Pedanakusuma Halim in Jakarta on July 16, 2014. (Antara Photo/Rosa Panggabean)Jakarta. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has reassured Indonesians that they will be safe when the country’s new president is announced next week.
The outcome of the nation’s tight presidential contest, between Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo and former Army general Prabowo Subianto, is expected to be announced by the General Elections Commission (KPU) on July 22.
Both candidates have claimed victory based on different quick count results, and the official announcement will follow two weeks of tension and allegations of ballot fraud.
In a bid to calm fears, presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said on Thursday that Yudhoyono had ordered National Police Chief Gen. Sutarman and Indonesian Military Chief Gen. Moeldoko to “guard the democratic process” so that people’s daily lives would not be disrupted.
“The president guarantees the situation is safe,” Julian said. “This is the government’s responsibility.”
He added that the president hoped the losing candidates would welcome the official result.
At a cabinet meeting at the presidential office, Yudhoyono asks for the public’s support when the official announcement is made.
“I urge all Indonesians to keep guard so that the political and democratic process can run peacefully, orderly and safely from beginning to end,” he said.
Yudhoyono, whose second five-year term ends when the new president takes office on Oct. 20, said it was the government’s goal to ensure the transition from one administration to the next went smoothly.
“Let us welcome the new president … Let’s support them so the new leaders and government can carry out their task better.” he said.
Meanwhile, police in Jakarta have announced they will hold a security drill involving thousands of officers to prepare for “chaos” that could erupt after the announcement of the presidential election result.
Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Commr. Rikwanto said on Thursday that police would conduct an exercise at the KPU headquarters in Central Jakarta on Saturday.
The security drill, which will involve 3,121 officers from Jakarta Police, Central Jakarta Police and the National Police, was being held “to anticipate chaos at the KPU office”, he said.
Police have already conducted similar drills this year, with exercises held at the Constitutional Court building, the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) office and both national and local KPU offices.
According to a majority of closely followed quick count results, Joko and his vice presidential running mate Jusuf Kalla have the lead over Prabowo and his running mate Hatta Rajasa. But some pollsters show Prabowo leading Joko. Both parties claimed victory in the hours after the July 9 election.
Prabowo’s camp prepares to contest result
Hans Nicholas Jong and Yuliasri Perdani, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Thu, July 17 2014, 9:04 AMAlthough presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has claimed that he will abide by the official election result, his legal team is gearing up to challenge the final vote tabulation, scheduled to be announced by the General Elections Commission (KPU) on July 22.
Prabowo campaign team lawyer Habiburokhman said on Wednesday that the camp was ready to file an election-dispute case with the Constitutional Court should the KPU declare that Prabowo lost to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) candidate, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
Habiburokhman said the team would focus their lawsuit on three issues. “The first is vote-buying. The second is the theft of recapitulation documents [C1 forms] in some regions and indications of public officials being partial [to one of the candidates],” he told reporters at the Constitutional Court, Jakarta, following a coordination meeting with the court and the KPU.
The third issue, he added, was voters who cast their votes in locations where they did not reside, without proper documentation.
Following a close-fought election, pollsters have estimated the vote gap between the two tickets to be at most 6 percent.
Prabowo has repeatedly said in public that he will honor and accept whatever decision the KPU makes since it comes from the Indonesian people. He has criticized the Jokowi camp for suggesting “if Jokowi loses, the KPU must be cheating”.
Jokowi’s camp has said it will file a challenge only if there is a huge discrepancy between the official vote result and the quick-count results where Jokowi has come out as winner.
“In terms of an election dispute, we are waiting for the lawsuits that [Prabowo’s team] are preparing,” Jokowi’s advocacy team member Sirra Prayuna said.
“It doesn’t mean we won’t file a challenge. We have done our own vote tabulation and the result is clear [that Jokowi won].”
The Constitutional Court has given three days after the July 22 announcement for either camp to challenge the results.
Once all necessary documents have been submitted, the court is scheduled to have its first hearing on Aug. 3. The verdict in any challenge will be announced by Aug. 21.
In light of the conflicting quick-count results and both camps claiming victory concerns over possible trouble following the announcement of the election result have mounted.
The National Police have prepared measures to address any security concerns, including possible riots, that may occur.
The potential security measures included the use of live rounds to disperse angry mobs, National Police chief Gen. Sutarman said on Wednesday.
“All steps to address riots — from first to sixth, have been prepared. It is not an order to shoot [individuals], but a step up to using firearms,” he said after an event at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta.
Sutarman was referring to steps stipulated in the 2010 National Police Procedures on Handling Public Disorder, in which police officers are authorized to use tear gas and live rounds to prevent individuals from harming others.
Sutarman said that he was closely coordinating with the military (TNI) and regional police chiefs to anticipate possible disturbances.
“The TNI are ready to support us, including in intensifying security measures around the KPU headquarters in Jakarta, where the final vote tabulation takes place,” he said.
They will also pay special attention to areas surrounding Jakarta, in Banten and West Java, to prevent the mobilization of protesters into the capital.
More irregularities, cheating reported in regions
Nethy Dharma Somba and Ainur Rohmah, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura/Semarang | Headlines | Wed, July 16 2014, 9:14 AMMore alleged irregularities and incidences of cheating have been reported in a number of regions as the tabulation of the July 9 presidential election ballots continues.
The results are expected to be made public by the General Elections Commission (KPU) by July 22.
The Papua Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) reported finding irregularities in West and Central Mapia districts in Dogiyai regency, in which voting was conducted by election officials.
“The election material never reached the two districts, but the local monitoring committee later found that votes had been cast by officials who delivered the material to Moanimani district,” Papua Bawaslu commissioner Anugerah Patah said on Tuesday.
Anugerah said similar cases were found in five subdistricts of in Wapoga district, Nabire regency.
He said the election material arrived at the subdistricts at 1 p.m. local time after all voters had left the polling stations (TPS). The ballots were pierced by officials of the respective TPS based on an agreement with village heads in the respective subdistricts.
“We will recommend a revote in each case,” Anugerah said.
Meanwhile, a revote has also been scheduled for TPS 17 in Derajat subdistrict, Cirebon regency, West Java, for Wednesday, after two people were found to have cast votes without presenting the required documents.
West Java General Elections Commission (KPUD) chairman Yayat Hidayat said a revote had been conducted at seven other TPS in Cirebon, but participation was only 50 percent of the number on polling day.
He said the revote would not disrupt the recapitulation schedule. “We are optimistic everything will be on schedule and that the result will reach the KPU on July 21,” Yayat said.
In Semarang, the Central Java Bawaslu has been handling six cases of criminal violations against election regulations.
The local Bawaslu chairman, Abhan Misbah, said the violations happened in four regencies: three in Sragen and one each in Purbalingga, Banyumas and Batang.
The violations were committed on election day and during the cooling off period.
“I hope the police will handle the cases, considered crimes, as soon as possible so that a political lesson is learned in Central Java,” Abhan said in Semarang on Tuesday, adding that his agency had also been examining a number of alleged administrative violations.
Meanwhile, the Sampamg KPUD on Madura Island, East Java, has announced that no violations were committed during the presidential election in the regency.
He was responding to a report filed by the Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Jusuf Kalla camp over indications of cheating in which the pair secured not a single vote at 17 polling stations in Ketapang Barat subdistrict.
Sampang KPUD chairman Samsul Muarif assured that the election was conducted according to procedure. Witnesses of both camps had signed the results of the vote counting.
“The facts indeed show that Jokowi got no votes at the 17 TPS,” he said.
The same claim of zero cheating was made in Bantul, Yogyakarta.
“It makes us proud. No cheating such as data manipulation, vote rigging or vote-buying was found,” Bantul Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) chairman Supardi said on Tuesday.
Arya Dipa, Indra Harsaputra and Slamet Susanto contributed to this story
KPU pledges impartiality amid vote-rigging concerns
Hans Nicholas Jong and Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Wed, July 16 2014, 9:20 AM
Action replay: An official holds up a revote card in Pandantoyo hamlet in Kediri, East Java, on Tuesday. The presidential election was repeated in the hamlet after the authorities found a resident had voted twice on July 9. Antara/Rudi MulyaThe General Elections Commission (KPU) pledged on Tuesday that it would remain impartial amid allegations of rampant manipulation taking place in the manual vote tabulation process.
The commission also vowed that it would resist any political pressure to favor one presidential ticket over the other.
KPU commissioner Ferry Kurnia Rizkiyansyah said on Tuesday that the commission would not risk its credibility by allowing vote manipulation to happen on a wide scale.
“Thank God, till now there has been no interference in our decision-making,” he told reporters at his office at KPU headquarters in Menteng, Central Jakarta.
Ferry was responding to a call by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) for all institutions involved with the electoral process, namely the KPU and the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), as well as the National Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI), to maintain their professionalism and neutrality, particularly while votes were still being tabulated.
Komnas HAM warned that with only a slim margin separating the two presidential pairs based on numerous quick-count results, the potential for vote rigging had never been higher.
“Vote-counting manipulation could be deemed a violation of human rights because the basic rights of the people will [eventually] be denied,” Komnas HAM chairman Hafid Abbas said.
In its investigation, Komnas HAM found that manipulation might have occurred in areas where it had conducted election monitoring activities.
Komnas HAM dispatched observers to monitor voting in 13 provinces; Aceh, North Sumatra, Lampung, Jakarta and its surrounding areas, East Java, Central Java, West Kalimantan, Papua, West Papua, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara and Maluku.
It has been alleged that votes were inflated in favor of Gerindra Party presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.
One of the most blatant acts of tampering allegedly occurred in the regencies of Sampang and Bangkalan on Madura Island, East Java, just three days after the July 9 election. The Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Jusuf Kalla campaign team reported that the pair had won zero votes in a number places in the two regions.
Sigit Jojowardono, KPU chief of the technical bureau for elections, said that even though Jokowi did not get any votes at 17 polling stations in Sampang, Madura, it did not mean that manipulation occurred.
“Ideally, there should be a witness. The witnesses are sent by each campaign team. If they can’t send witnesses that’s fine. The public can always monitor the vote counting and file a report with the Bawaslu,” he said.
Enggartiasto Lukito, coordinator of witnesses and vote counting for Jokowi’s campaign, said it was obvious that manipulation had taken place in Madura.
“In some cases, votes for Prabowo were added and votes for Jokowi were reduced. In [several polling stations in] Madura, there were no votes for Jokowi and the C1 forms were not signed by witnesses,” Enggartiasto said, referring to the vote tabulation form.
He said that there were statements from Jokowi supporters in Sampang that they had indeed cast their ballots for that candidate. “They said they voted for Jokowi [...] KPU, Bawaslu, the police, they have to do something,” he said.
Separately, KPU chairman Husni Kamil Manik maintained that the commission would resist any political pressure.
Husni said that there was no pressure from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono when he called him
The President, who made the call while he was being accompanied by State Secretary Sudi Silalahi, Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam and his two advisors, Daniel Sparingga and Teuku Faizasyah, urged the KPU to involve both camps in monitoring the vote tabulation process.
“The President said that it’s really important not to leave the [vote tabulation] process completely in the hands of the KPU, because on July 22, one of the candidates would say that the KPU is not being objective,” Husni said.
— Josh Kelety contributed to this report from Jakarta