After presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto declared victory yesterday, despite clearly losing to incumbent President Joko Widodo in the quick count results done by every survey group with access to the data, it wasn’t clear what legal action, if any, his campaign would take to contest the result.
While a Constitutional Court challenge may yet be coming (when he lost to Jokowi the first time in 2014, Prabowo threatened to take his case to the country’s highest court before ultimately withdrawing from the vote tally process over claims of systemic fraud), it looks like the first authority the challenger’s camp is going to try to appeal to is the General Election Commission (KPU).
A group of officials from the Prabowo campaign’s national committee (BPN) came to the KPU’s headquarters in Jakarta today in order to report some of the quick count pollsters for alleged malfeasance.
“We are from BPN Prabowo-Sandiaga, especially the legal advocacy team, and we’ve come to the KPU today in order to report a number of survey agencies today for reporting incorrect information, hoaxes and even misleading news,” BPN advocacy team coordination Djamaludin Koedoeboen said at KPU HQ today as quoted by Detik.
Among the survey groups named by Djamaludin were LSI Denny JA, Indo Barometer, Charta Politika, SMRC, Poltracking and Voxpol (all of which produced quick count results that consistently showed Jokowi-Ma’ruf at around 55% and Prabowo-Sandiaga with around 45%).
Djamaludin claimed that some of the pollsters showed data in which more than 100% of voters were casting ballots in some areas. He said the inaccurate data could be considered “misleading and dangerous” and warned that it could create “unrest among the public”.
Prabowo’s said his own claim to victory rested upon his campaign’s internal exit polling data, which they insist shows that the Gerindra chief beat Jokowi by 62%.
Somewhat ironically, given that they have accused the quick count survey groups of reporting false data, Prabowo’s campaign has yet to reveal to anybody their exit polling data that supposedly proves their candidate was the actual winner.
Rather than share that exit poll data (which, like, totally exists, we’re sure), BPN is demanding that KPU punish the quick count pollsters in question by stripping them of their accreditation. KPU officials have not yet made a statement in response to their report.
To know with certainty whether or not the survey groups got the quick counts right, we’ll have to wait until the KPU delivers the official results of the real vote count, which they are required to complete by May 22 at the latest.