Tight security in place for election fraud ruling

Prabowo supporters and security officials agree that peaceful protest is vital to the democratic process.

By Andhika Bhakti for Khabar Southeast Asia in Jakarta

August 16, 2014
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Security officials are ready to ensure the peace when Indonesia's Constitutional Court (MK) issues its ruling on Prabowo Subianto's lawsuit disputing last month's presidential election .

  •  Police stand by as supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto hold a protest outside the Constitutional Court in Jakarta on August 8th. [Bay Ismoyo/AFP] 

    Police stand by as supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto hold a protest outside the Constitutional Court in Jakarta on August 8th. [Bay Ismoyo/AFP] 

Prabowo alleged "structured, systematic and massive" cheating during the election and vote count. A ruling is expected between August 21st and 26th.

The ruling is not likely to overturn Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's announced victory, political analysts say.

"Prabowo knows that to challenge the results using the legal system will be hard. But he threw a provocative statement that he was defeated through cheating. He knows that his supporters will be angry," said Arbi Sanit, a social and political science professor at University of Indonesia.

MK Chief Justice Hamdan Zoelva said Prabowo's suit contains a number of unclear claims.

"Prabowo only has a small opportunity to win. His argument is lacking evidence," Hamdan told Khabar Southeast Asia. "We have reviewed their arguments during the preliminary hearing, but it is hard to prove."

Ensuring safety

Some 30,000 Prabowo supporters will rally outside the MK to await the ruling, Andre Rosiade, coordinator of the Alliance to Save the Election, told Tempo.

Indonesian police plan to deploy some 22,000 police officers in anticipation of possible violence. Jakarta Police Chief Dwi Priyatno also provided special protection for General Elections Commission (KPU) Chairman Husni Kamil Manik.

"We will ensure his safety. We are also taking preventive action in anticipation of possible violent actions," he told Khabar.

Rachmad Widodo, who demonstrated outside the MK on August 6th, told Khabar protesters want to see clean and transparent elections.

"I hope the government realizes that finding the truth is part of democracy. It not about Jokowi or Prabowo, it is about the truth in Indonesian democracy," he said.

Put differences aside

Jakarta Police spokesman Rikwanto agreed peaceful protest is part of a democracy.

"This process is important for our democracy. Without security, we will not see that happen. So please stay home and follow the processes through your electronic media such as TV, internet, or radio," he said.

Clashes between rival camps of supporters took place in Solo on August 6th and 8th, Solo resident Nurwati Dewi said.

"One person got injured here in Solo. We have been told by our clerics and local government to stay home. I hope that will be the only case of violence. Everyone is restless here waiting for the results," Nurwarti told Khabar.

Muhammad Husni, a cleric in Karanganyar, Solo, encouraged supporters of either candidate to put their difference aside and unite.

"We had our right to vote on July 9th, and now is our turn to accept the results. We don't have to continue our disappointment with violence," he told Khabar. "It is wrong to do so, and that is not what our religion teaches us. Let us witness this event peacefully."

Reader Comments
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    • August 29, 2014 @ 08:08:54AM
    • A good leader is a figure who can put the interests of the people foremost.
    • taufiq
      August 29, 2014 @ 03:08:54AM
    • I respect the Constitutional Court's decision, however, this year's election is disappointing because it became a vehicle for foreign nations and irresponsible parties. Uphold honesty to defend the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia because honesty is an absolute for the sovereignty of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. Become an independent nation!
    • densi, Agustus 14
      August 28, 2014 @ 09:08:43PM
    • The key is to choose, whether to be a respected statesman or a mocked loser because of their lust for power.
    • bakesbang
      August 28, 2014 @ 01:08:56AM
    • That's common; what election is free from cheating? That is rare, bro.
    • gunawan wibisono
      August 25, 2014 @ 04:08:25AM
    • Transparency and honesty must be prioritized because it is important in democracy. Today, no one likes cheating. The Constitutional Court decision on the 21st must be respected/appreciated and we should accept it graciously. We place more importance on honesty, transparency, and dignity.
    • harin setiawan
      August 24, 2014 @ 07:08:29PM
    • The important thing is that everyone will put the interests of the people first.
    • herman
      August 22, 2014 @ 07:08:03AM
    • I will not accept it if the Constitutional Court decides against the evidence and accurate witnesses who are not independent.
    • yus
      August 21, 2014 @ 12:08:30PM
    • The one who lost should act graciously, don't create chaos that will just make the people restless. Perhaps Allah SWT has not yet given the loser the opportunity to lead the Indonesian people for the time being. Maybe try again in five years, don't give up. To be a leader you must have patience and wisdom. Hopefully Allah will give the opportunity for those who are patient to become a leader in five years. Amin.
    • alexleo
      August 19, 2014 @ 05:08:05PM
    • By Allah, if it is for the nation and country, why persist with this non-statesmanlike behavior? Jokowi is liked by the people, they even cover his expenses. It is this closeness to the people that served as his weapon to win the competition.
    • willi
      August 19, 2014 @ 12:08:06AM
    • As long as I have been alive, this is the first time that an election was conducted properly and perfectly. Therefore, as children of the nation we should be grateful for all of this. Win or lose, that's the way it has always been because this is a democratic country. The loser should not act out in anarchy, accept how things are.

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