‘Get with the times’: Prabowo’s camp defends using social media posts and online news as evidence of vote fraud

Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto. Photo: @Prabowo / Instagram
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto. Photo: @Prabowo / Instagram

Defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his legal team’s challenge to the election result may rest on whether or not the Constitutional Court (MK) will accept tweets, Instagram posts and/or online news articles as evidence of vote fraud.

More information about the evidence supposedly being used in Prabowo’s legal challenge has come to light since it was filed with the MK on Saturday, and, considering such evidence previously failed to hold up with the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), Prabowo’s prospects do not look good.

In court documents viewed by Detik today, Prabowo’s legal team argued that one of the examples of massive and systemic vote fraud was the National Police being partial towards President Joko Widodo’s campaign by forming a team of social media buzzers to post positive content about the incumbent.

 

One specific piece of evidence used to make that argument was a tweet by a user named @Opposite6890 — which itself appears to be a buzzer account for the opposition — alleging that 100 officers from each police department ran the supposed pro-Jokowi buzzer accounts. The tweet gave the example of an Instagram account named @AlumniShambar, which disseminated pro-Jokowi content, only following one other account on the photo sharing platform — that of President Jokowi’s.

Also in the court documents were links to news articles alleging that Jokowi abused his power of authority to get a head start over Prabowo. For example, as picked up by CNN Indonesia, Prabowo’s legal team cited articles from news outlet to show Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan facing a potential investigation over suspicions that he had illegally campaigned for Prabowo. The document also had a link to a CNN Indonesia article that reported on Jokowi’s plan to raise the salaries of civil servants soon after he was nominated for reelection.

Other articles included as evidence of vote fraud by Prabowo’s camp came from such mainstream media outlets as Kompas, Tribun, Detik, CNBC Indonesia, Tempo and Liputan 6.

Prabowo’s team hit back at accusations that links to online news should not be considered legal evidence.

“Get with the times. Article 5 Verse 1 of the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE) clearly states that electronic information and/or its copies can be used as legal evidence. UU ITE has been enforced for 10 years and there have been hundreds of cases that were decided using links to news articles,” Habiburokhman, a member of Prabowo’s campaign’s advocacy team, told Detik today.

We won’t have to wait too long to find out if the MK judges agree with them as they are expected to issue a ruling on the matter by the end of June.


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