Supporters of Prabowo Subianto have become increasingly emboldened in echoing their candidate’s claims that he won the election on April 17 (despite all of the evidence, from the same-day quick counts to the ongoing real vote count, projecting a clear victory for the incumbent, President Joko Widodo).
Perhaps the most extreme example of that is a recently released video featuring a group of alumni from a pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in Banten, carrying weapons and pledging to fight for Prabowo and his running mate Sandiaga Uno’s victory “until the last drop of blood”.
The video was released via social media and shows a group of armed young men, most of whom are carrying bamboo spears, shouting out an oath dictated by their leader, who can be seen carrying a machete.
Kami segenap Santri Lebak Banten.
Siap mengawali Perjuangan Para Ulama.
Dalam memenangkan Pilpres @prabowo @sandiuno.
Dan kami tidak Ridho Dunia Akhirat, apabila di Curangi dan kami Siap melawan Kecurangan, Meskipun Harus Meneteskan Darah Penghabisan ! pic.twitter.com/llcbpQnrqa
— Barisan Akal Sehat (@PowerOfReceh) May 5, 2019
“We are all santri (pesantren students) from Lebak, Banten. We are ready to guard the struggle of the ulama (Islamic scholars) and the victory of Prabowo-Sandiaga in the presidential election. We cannot accept this world and the afterlife if we are cheated. And we are ready to fight fraud, even if we have to shed our blood until the last drop,” the group chants in the video.
The mention of ulama is likely related to last week’s third “Ijtima Ulama” conference, which was held by the National Movement to Guard the Ulama Fatwa (GNPF), a hardliner-affiliated political group. The conference, which was attended by Prabowo, saw participants concluding that there had been massive and systemic fraud in the election and demanded that President Jokowi resign for orchestrating the fraud.
Banten Police Public Relations Head Edy Sumardi said the video was not actually made by students but alumni of Pondok Pesantren Salafi Bani Salifin in Salahaur Village in Lebak Regency.
“The video was made by santri alumni, it was not students who made the video, it was made unilaterally and without the consent or knowledge of the leadership of the boarding school,” Edy told CNN Indonesia today.
Furthermore, he said that police had met with the heads of the pesantren, who said they apologized for the video and asked their alumni to delete it.
Nonetheless, Edy said that the police will continue to investigate the video further, including the motives of those behind its creation and circulation.
Prabowo and his supporters have repeatedly made claims that he won the election (based on internal exit poll data that they have refused to share with the public) and that there has been massive and systemic fraud in the vote count process. Although there have been documented instances of elections forms and data being input improperly, they have yet to reveal any substantive evidence to support their claims of a massive conspiracy.
The General Election Commission (KPU) has to submit the official results of the real vote count on or before May 22. If Prabowo loses, as he is projected to do so, there’s no telling how supporters like those in the above video may react.