—Dian A H Shah, National University Singapore Faculty of Law
[Editor’s note: This is one of our biweekly I-CONnect columns. Columns, while scholarly in accordance with the tone of the blog and about the same length as a normal blog post, are a bit more “op-ed” in nature than standard posts. For more information about our four columnists for 2019, see here.]
All eyes are on Indonesia again as the Constitutional Court began hearing Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno’s appeal against the presidential election results released (officially) on 21 May 2019. The Prabowo-Sandi pair was defeated by the incumbent, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), and his running mate, Ma’ruf Amin, who emerged as winners of the hard-fought election with 55.50% of votes cast. This more or less confirms the ‘quick count’ results released by several survey organizations soon after polling ended on 17 April.
However, the Prabowo camp had always disputed these results from the moment they trickled in, arguing that exit poll data from 5000 polling stations and quick count results showed that Prabowo had won the elections with 55.4% and 52.2% of the votes, respectively. Based on these information – both compiled by his campaign team – Prabowo declared himself to be the winner of the elections and the ‘president of all Indonesians’, just hours after the polls closed and despite warnings from the Elections Commission that candidates should refrain from claiming victory until the Commission releases the official results in May. To demonstrate his readiness to go to ‘war’ over the election outcomes, Prabowo immediately alleged that certain survey organizations were attempting to steer public opinion against his success, and within days after the elections, his campaign team began releasing reports of electoral fraud.Read the rest of this entry…