Headlines

Prabowo’s camp prepares
to contest result

Although 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.

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