General Elections Commission (KPU) chief commissioner Arief Budiman, second from right, seen with Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) head Abhan, second from left, at the offices of the KPU early on Tuesday. (Antara Photo/Dhemas Reviyanto)

Here's Why KPU Announced 2019 Election Results Earlier Than Expected


MAY 22, 2019

Jakarta. The General Elections Commission, or KPU, has given reasons for its decision to announce the results of the 2019 presidential and legislative elections just after midnight on Tuesday, instead of Wednesday, as was widely expected. 

The peculiar timing drew criticism from candidate Prabowo Subianto, who suggested the commission deliberately made the announcement while "people were asleep."

However, KPU commissioner Viryan Azis said the 2017 Electoral Law gives the agency a maximum of 35 days from the day of voting to determine the result.

"May 22 was the deadline. If it's possible [to announce the result] earlier, it's better," he said at the agency's offices in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.

He said the election result is also inseparable from the vote recapitulation process.

When the recapitulation process is completed, the KPU prefers not to delay and announces the election result immediately.

"So, we are not in a hurry, we are just going with the flow," he explained.

The KPU also does not determine the election results discreetly. Viryan said although the announcement was made early in the morning, many parties participated and were involved in the entire process.

"This wasn't the first time. In the 2014 election, the result was also announced close to midnight, at 11.30 p.m.," he said.

Viryan said the KPU had been transparent and open since the early stages of the 2019 legislative election. He noted that witnesses were present when they processed the results.

"It was not a closed process. God willing, the KPU works with an open spirit. The recordings are there, and the process was covered by several media outlets directly. At least, although it was announced early in the morning, the public knows," he said.