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Jakarta Post

Supporters abandon Prabowo

  • Hasyim Widhiarto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 8, 2014   /  09:02 am

Losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his die-hard supporters have vowed to fight until the last drop of blood to secure the presidency for the retired army lieutenant general.

However, a survey by a major pollster and a revelation that emerged from Prabowo'€™s own inner circle suggested that it was only a matter of time before the Gerindra party chief patron would have to concede defeat.

A national survey of 1,200 citizens released on Wednesday by the Jakarta-based pollster, Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI), showed that should a second presidential election take place, the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla pair would receive 57.06 percent of the vote, while Prabowo-Hatta would win just 30.39 percent. The remaining 12.55 percent, meanwhile, were undecided or refused to disclose their candidate preference.

The survey, conducted from Aug. 4 to Aug. 6 with a margin of error of 2.9 percent, also found that 67.49 percent of respondents trusted the General Elections Commission'€™s (KPU) official election results.

The KPU has officially named Jakarta Governor Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo and running mate Jusuf Kalla as the winner of the 2014 presidential election after the pair secured almost 71 million votes or 53.15 percent of valid ballots cast. Prabowo and his running mate Hatta Rajasa, meanwhile, received 62.5 million votes, or 46.85 percent.

'€œThose who trust the official election results want the people'€™s choice respected in the election and they are expecting Prabowo to do the same,'€ LSI researcher Ade Mulyana said.

Faced with a lack of evidence to support his claim of alleged election fraud, Prabowo will likely lose not only his legal challenge to the election results, but also support from his voters and loyal enthusiasts.

Gerindra executive Anhar Nasution, a member of Prabowo'€™s presidential campaign team, considered the drop in public support for Prabowo in the wake of the election as normal.

'€œNot many people are ready to sacrifice time, money and effort to consistently support a certain political idea,'€ Anhar reasoned.

Anhar added that as of Wednesday, only about 70 percent of some 1,000 volunteer groups that declared their support for Prabowo-Hatta prior to the July 9 election were still committed to supporting the pair.

 '€œSome of these [volunteer] groups contributed nothing more than public declarations of support for Prabowo-Hatta during the previous presidential campaign period, while some others quit shortly after the KPU announced the election results,'€ Anhar told The Jakarta Post.

'€œIt is clear that these groups only wanted to benefit from the hurly-burly of the recent presidential election and were not serious in supporting Pak Prabowo'€™s efforts.'€

The Prabowo-Hatta camp has filed a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court, alleging that '€œmassive and systemic'€ election fraud had benefited the Jokowi-Kalla pair. Despite the claims, the election itself was publicly perceived by international standards as fair, democratic, and transparent.

On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court opened its first hearing of Prabowo'€™s lawsuit against the KPU. In a speech before the court, Prabowo claimed that elections in North Korea were much more democratic than in Indonesia.

During the first hearing, the panel of judges, led by Chief Justice Hamdan Zoelva, lambasted the documents prepared by Prabowo'€™s legal team, which consists of more than 100 lawyers , stating that the lawsuit was plagued by errors and weak argumentation.

On Thursday, Prabowo'€™s defense team presented sections of the improved version of their opening statements, as required by the court.

Prabowo-Hatta'€™s Sahabat dan Relawan (Friends and Volunteers) leader Bram Bani said he would not disband his organization until Prabowo, '€œmanaged to become president'€.

'€œWe are ready to deploy our volunteers anywhere and anytime Prabowo-Hatta needs us,'€ he said.

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