JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo
Subianto alleged Friday there had "been quite massive incidences" of
fraud in general elections, which he said might prevent him from winning
the most divisive polls in the fragile democracy's history.
The Suharto-era general has been claiming to be ahead in the vote count, whose official results will be announced next week.
in an interview with The Associated Press, Subianto for the first time
suggested he might lose to his challenger, former Jakarta governor Joko
Widodo, due to voting fraud.
"Half of the Indonesian people support me," he said. "In my conviction, is it more than half, if there is no cheating."
reputable organizations have carried out "quick count" of a sample of
the votes that show Widodo with a small but decisive lead. The quick
counts have accurately forecast past regional and national elections in
Indonesia, and independent analysts say there is no reason to think
otherwise this time.
Subianto's insistence that he was on course
for victory, and his allegations of fraud, have led to speculation in
some quarters that the superrich candidate might be trying to himself
fix the results or will refuse to concede. That would put pressure on
the country's democratic institutions and could possibly lead to
The 63-year-old said he may well challenge the result in
the Constitutional Court because of the alleged vote fraud. The court,
whose past chief justice is serving a life sentence for accepting a
bribe to rule in favor of a plaintiff in a regional election dispute,
has two weeks to rule.
"We will see, if there is indication and
evidence of massive fraud and massive and systematic cheating, then we
will not accept the result," he said.
He gave no details behind his allegations.
bid was backed by a coalition of the country's' largest political
parties, though he acknowledged the parties might switch to Widodo.
Political parties in Indonesia are vehicles to get power and the spoils
that come with it, meaning that they often jump to the winning side in
"Whatever will be, will be," he said. "Coalitions are created, coalitions are ended. Even in a marriage, you can get divorced."
known by his nickname Jokowi, declared victory hours after the July 9
polls based on the quick counts, but has put off any celebration or
transition planning until the official count in the sprawling country of
260 million people is announced on July 22.
Widodo is a former
furniture exporter with a vastly different pedigree to past Indonesian
leaders, who have mostly been drawn from the country's business and
military elite. He rose from political obscurity because of his
reputation for good governance and concern for the poor. His supporters
also include members of the elite, but he is nevertheless promising a
new kind of leadership in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
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