The Jakarta Post
The presidential campaign of incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has reported Indopos to the Press Council for allegedly spreading misinformation in a report concerning the incumbent’s plans after the April election.
The article, titled "Ahok Gantikan Ma’ruf Amin?" (Will Ahok replace Ma'ruf Amin?), wrote about the rumored plan of replacing Jokowi’s running mate, Mar’uf Amin, a 75-year-old Muslim cleric, with former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, should the ticket win the presidential poll. It also said Ma’ruf would leave the vice presidential post on account of his health.
The article also provided an infographic, showing that Basuki, also known as Ahok or BTP, would later become president, replacing Jokowi, and businessman-cum-politician Hary Tanoesoedibjo, the leader of the Perindo Party, a supporter of Jokowi-Ma’ruf ticket, would become vice president.
The report irked Jokowi’s camp, which said the article had spread misinformation, as its main source was only social media. The campaign team, therefore, filed a report with the Press Council, accusing the newspaper of violating Law No. 40/1999 on the press.
“This is slander for our presidential ticket. The election has not even happened yet,” Ade Irfan Pulungan of the Jokowi-Ma’ruf campaign said at the Press Council’s office on Friday as quoted by tempo.co.
Ade has also demanded that the council require Indopos to issue an apology through a full page newspaper ad that would run for three days in national print media.
He urged the council to follow up immediately as the matter was related to the election.
“We will take other legal measures if this takes too long [at the Press Council],” he said.
The council said it would seek clarification and analysis regarding the complaints. Council expert Heru Tjahjo Soewardjojo said it planned to look into the matter as soon as possible.
“Normally, the process takes two weeks. However, since this concerns the election, we will see what we can do,” Heru said.
Indopos chief editor Juni Armanto said he had not expected the article to draw ire from the camp.
He claimed the article was meant to clarify information circulating on social media.
“We expected this article to refute the rumor on social media,” Juni said as quoted by kompas.com.
He admitted that the infographic was taken from social media, but the editorial team had obtained statements from Jokowi’s camp, refuting the rumor.
“Indopos wants to be neutral in reporting the elections. I think this case has emerged on account of political dynamics. We are just going to offer an explanation to the Press Council to response to the complaint,” he said. (das)