The Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno camp will hand any evidence of alleged election fraud to the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), instead of resorting to mass action, the campaign team's advocacy and legal affairs director said on Wednesday. (Antara Photo/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

Prabowo Campaign Team Says It Won't Resort to 'People Power'

MAY 10, 2019

Jakarta. The campaign team of presidential candidate pair Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno will submit any evidence it has of alleged election fraud to the country's election watchdog, instead of resorting to mass action, Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, director of the team's advocacy and legal affairs, said on Wednesday.

Dasco said Prabowo had ordered the team to refrain from using "people power" and instead act in accordance with the law by reporting its findings directly to the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu).

"We don't feel that we were accused, because we don't plan things like that," he said, referring to mass action.

Al Muzzammil Yusuf, an executive of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), said that based on a presentation by information technology expert Sugiarto, the General Elections Commission (KPU) had made serious counting errors in the vote recapitulation process.

However, Muzzammil did not provide details of the alleged errors when asked to do so.

"We from the PKS will show the data we have. We have an agreement; there is exposure from the Prabowo-Sandiaga camp's IT team, so that it will provide valid information within the next few days. The point is, we open to the public the results of the election that are overflowing and lackluster," he said.


Agung Baskoro, a researcher at pollster Poltracking Indonesia, said the victory declaration by the campaign team of Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin was normal, because the KPU's official count showed that 72.98 percent of the votes are already in. This was reinforced by previous quick-count results by several reputable pollsters that put Jokowi and Ma'ruf in the lead.

"Prabowo's camp should accept [the result] and be wise enough to face reality. Jokowi's camp used quick-count results from credible survey institutions and the KPU's official count, while at the same time, the public is still wondering where the claim of a 62 percent victory by the Prabowo camp came from," Agung said.

Political analyst Arif Susanto said the victory declaration by Jokowi-Ma'ruf's had a dual impact – psychological and political. Psychologically, the declaration assures the public that there is consistency between quick-count results, the internal count by the Jokowi-Ma'ruf camp, and the official count by the KPU, which all show them leading.

"This trust is important, because the public is often confused by misinformation and different forms of insinuations containing made-up facts about the Prabowo camp's victory," he said.

Politically, the declaration assures coalition partners while providing poltical capital to decide what to do next, including forming a new government. The declaration by the Jokowi camp also balances out the multiple victory declarations by Prabowo's camp.

Arif said since both camps had declared victory, the next step would be to respect the vote-counting process and the official result by the KPU.

"Without denying various shortcomings that need improvement, [respecting the vote-counting process] shows appreciation of the democratic process and serves as a lesson to everyone about fairness in competition," he said.

Silvanus Alvin, a political communications lecturer at Bunda Mulia University in Jakarta, also believes Jokowi's camp had the right to declare victory. 

"There should be no more political narratives to discredit the election as fraudulent and the KPU as having acted unfairly, because both camps have made victory declarations. It's time to wait for the official result from the KPU," Alvin said.

KPU commissioner Ilham Saputra expressed optimism on Thursday that the vote-counting process would continue to proceed smoothly and that the official result would be announced on May 22, as planned.

He said other than administrative matters, the KPU had experienced no significant obstacles in the vote-counting process so far.