Investigation Finds Indonesia’s Election Commission Violated Vote Procedures

An election official deposits a voter's ballot into a box at a polling station during the general election in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. Photographer: Andri Tambunan/Bloomberg
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STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT-An investigation found that Indonesia’s election commission violated official procedures when tallying votes during the country’s presidential election.

Indonesia’s election supervisory agency, known as Bawaslu, said Thursday that the election commission incorrectly entered vote data during the count. It didn’t release further details, including how many errors were made and what impact they may have had on the final tally.

The finding comes after challenger Prabowo Subianto’s campaign team filed a complaint with Bawaslu claiming that 73,000 data entry errors had been made by the election commission, which is known as the KPU. Prabowo’s team said the mistakes supported allegations of election fraud. Bawaslu rejected the Prabowo campaign’s request that the count be halted.

The KPU had “violated the procedures” and must “fix errors” so the tally is in accordance with the original data, Bawaslu chief Abhan, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, said in a statement. Election authorities have until May 22 to release official results.

High Alert

Prabowo, as the former general is known, continues to claim victory in last month’s election despite the official count showing incumbent president Joko Widodo is on track to win a double-digit victory. Prabowo has alleged widespread voter fraud as well as collusion between Widodo, the KPU and security authorities, while also warning of possible unrest.

Police remain on high alert in Indonesia. Officers are deployed at locations around Jakarta, and are guarding the KPU’s office, which has been barricaded with barbed wire. Thousands of people rallied in in the capital last Friday to protest the outcome of the election.
 
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