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Petition for full transparency in vote counting in Indonesia

The elections of july 9th in Indonesia are behind us. The official results will be announced july 22 2014. In the meantime, there are concerns for the fairness of the vote counting process, as shown in this article titled ‘Probowo’s game plan‘ on New Mandala.

This is echoed by Indonesian students, alumni and researchers abroad. They voice their fears for the fairness of the election process in the following petition published at Change.org:

A PETITION BY INDONESIAN STUDENTS, ALUMNI AND RESEARCHERS ABROAD FOR FULL TRANSPARENCY IN ALL VOTE COUNTING PROCEDURES AND RESPECT FOR THE VOICE OF INDONESIAN VOTERS BY ALL PARTIES

The Indonesian presidential election was held on July 9, 2014. Quick count results from credible survey institutes show that Jokowi-JK is the likely winner.

The results from Saiful Muzani Research and Consulting (SMRC) show Prabowo-Hatta with 47.09% of the votes while Jokowi-JK received 52.91%; from Indikator: P-H 47.06%, J-JK 52.94%; from CSIS-Cyrus: P-H 48.10%, J-JK 51.90%; from Populi: P-H 49.05%, J-JK 50.95%; from Litbang Kompas: P-H 47.66%, J-JK 52.34%; from Lingkaran Survei Indonesia: P-H 46,43%, J-JK 53.37%; and from Radio Republik Indonesia: P-H 47.48%, J-JK 52.52%; Poltracking: 46.63% – 53.37%.

Still, four other survey institutes are claiming Prabowo-Hatta as the winners. The four institutes are: Puskaptis: 52.05% for Prabowo-Hatta – 47.95% for Jokowi-JK; Indonesia Research Center: 51.11% – 48.89%; Lembaga Survey Nasional: 50.19% – 49.81%; and Jaringan Suara Indonesia: 50.13% – 49.87%.

However, scientifically the quick count results of Lembaga Survey Nasional and Jaringan Suara Indonesia are inconclusive because the margin is less than +/- 1%. The only sources Prabowo-Hatta could use as proof of their victory are from Puskaptis and Indonesia Research Center because of the sufficient margin. Nevertheless, the validity of the results from these two institutes remains questionable, due to their contradiction with the results of the eight institutes reporting victory for Jokowi-JK, including Radio Republik Indonesia which belongs to the public (not a private company).

Despite the reliable quick count results putting Jokowi-JK clearly in the lead, Prabowo-Hatta have, shockingly, declared themselves the winners of the 2014 presidential election based on the results of the four survey institutes without taking into account the results from eight other institutes. This situation is causing confusion among the people. How could it be possible that there are two winners in a race that involved only two candidates?

Prabowo’s claim of victory is worrisome, as it indicates the possibility of cheating/manipulation of votes in the full count, now underway, and may result in social conflicts if the results from the official count do not match people’s expectations or hopes.

Based on these considerations, we urge the following:

1. In addition to all other survey institutes, Puskaptis, Indonesia Research Center, Lembaga Survey Nasional and Jaringan Suara Indonesia, must publicly release their financial sources, as well as their methods and raw data to explain why their quick count results contradict the results of the other institutes;

2. The “quick count” is a scientific contribution to a responsible and honest democratic process that ensures that official results issued by the government will not be influenced by political factors, but rather will stick to empirical facts. For this reason, it is important that the candidates, media and general public refrain from using unreliable and potentially invalid quick count results;

3. Prabowo-Hatta must reevaluate their declaration of victory and explain to the public why they did not consider the quick count results from the eight other institutes, one of which is the public institute RRI. This public explanation would demonstrate that Prabowo-Hatta wholeheartedly accept whatever the people have chosen, and will also avoid humiliation from basing their claim on inaccurate quick counts from unreliable survey institutes;

4. The incumbent president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and his government must take an impartial and neutral position in the full count process to respect and guarantee that the Indonesian people’s voice and aspirations are not harmed;

5. The General Election Commission (KPU) must publish the results of the full count process transparently in each province everyday;

6. All Indonesian people must no longer be divided between “Prabowo-Hatta voters”, “Jokowi-JK voters” or “nonvoters” and instead stay calm and respectful while together keeping watch over the process of the full vote count, from the local level (TPS) to the national level (KPU). We as Indonesian citizens are wary of cheating and vote manipulation and wish to avoid it at all costs in the process of choosing our next president.

We are hoping for a smooth process of power transfer conducted in a free, safe, fair, honest and peaceful manner.

Indonesian students/alumni/researchers abroad

Sign the petition at Change.org.

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