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Jakarta Post

Public figures hearten KPU following 'people power' threat

  • Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, April 10, 2019   /   07:58 pm
Public figures hearten KPU following 'people power' threat General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Arief Budiman casts a ballot during a mock voting day at the KPU compound in Jakarta on Tuesday. Several public figures went to the KPU building on Wednesday to show support following threats of mobilizing people power should there be proof of fraud during the upcoming election. (The Jakarta Post/Dhoni Setiawan)

Several public figures went to the General Elections Commission (KPU) building in Central Jakarta to encourage them following threats made by the Prabowo Subianto camp suggesting that they would take to the streets and mobilize ‘people power’ should they find proof of fraud in the upcoming general election.

The statement was made by senior National Mandate Party (PAN) politician and Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno campaign adviser Amien Rais, during a rally held in front of the KPU office on March 31.

The figures identified themselves as Gerakan Suluh Kebangsaan (National Enlightenment Movement), chaired by former Constitutional Court chief justice and renowned Muslim figure Mahfud MD. Mahfud went with former first lady Sinta Nuriyah Abdurrahman Wahid, noted sociologist Imam Prasodjo, economist Rhenald Kasali and Muslim academic and intellectual Komaruddin Hidayat.

“We support the KPU [stating] that legal means are the best way to resolve all disputes. If there were any fraud, it would need a legal settlement procedure. It's improper to use one’s own way," Mahfud said on Wednesday.

Mahfud said there should be no reason to mistrust the KPU as any systemic fraud would be impossible. "There are more than 800,000 polling stations. How could structured fraud be carried out?" Mahfud said.

“Our votes will be counted manually [...] Such accusation is nonsense and an attempt to delegitimize the election," he added.

Mahfud said that besides moral support, the figures were ready to give legal assistance to the KPU.

"We're ready to give advocacy if people accuse them, as long as the KPU is right. If they were wrong, we would let the court settle it,” he said.

Mahfud highlighted that besides the KPU, Indonesia had other institutions in charge of preventing electoral violations, namely the Elections Supervisory Body (Bawaslu), the Election Organization Ethics Council (DKPP), Bawaslu’s Integrated Law Enforcement (Gakkumdu) team, the Constitutional Court and the public itself.

Imam Prasodjo noted that no matter how high the integrity of the KPU, it could be disrupted by hoaxes so they needed to be careful.

He hoped that after the election, no KPU members would resign and become public officials or party members.

“The public could get the wrong idea if that happened. Please reject any offer, for example, to be a minister. I hope that no members will be tempted by such offers, "Imam said.

Shinta Wahid said the KPU needed to prepare itself for a bigger challenge from now on.

"We support what the KPU has done. They have to be prepared to deal with and anticipate the worse accusation,” she said.

KPU chairman Arief Budiman said the support from those public figures was energy for the institution.

"We don’t want people to remember us as a bunch of people who don’t have integrity in this country’s election history. So we will stick with existing standards and regulations," Arief said.(iwa)