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Indonesia remains vigilant as constitutional court may decide results of election

by: Abu Hanifah

JAKARTA, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian politicians remained vigilant following dual victory claims announced by both president hopefuls who referred to different results of quick counts carried out by pollster agencies under their control favoring each of them in seizing presidency until 2019.

Both presidential camps, however, had pledged to exercise restraint while the official vote count conducted by the General Election Commission (KPU) is underway with winner announcement scheduled on July 22.

Chairperson of the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI- P) Megawati Soekarnoputri issued on Friday the party's official order to its cadres and volunteers to preserve public order so as to avert restlessness among the people.

The PDI-P party leads a coalition of five parties to nominate Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo and former vice president Jusuf Kalla to run in the presidential election this year.

The pairing claimed their victory while the quick count results broadcast by TV stations under the coalition's control were still progressing with 52 percent votes favoring them compared to 47 percent obtained by rival Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Radjasa.

Megawati, the fifth Indonesian president in office between July 2001 and October 2004, said that the election this year was a real manifestation of people's sovereignty to directly elect their leader, adding that the election has been held safely and peacefully.

Responding to the current political situation that may lead to instability in the nation, Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) urged TV stations across the country to end publication of both quick count and real count results as it may incite anxiousness among the public.

"We ask all broadcasting institutions to temporarily end their broadcast on quick count and real count programs, victory claims and greetings to president hopefuls until July 22 for the sake of public's interest and the nation's integration," KPI Chairman Judhariksawan said on Friday.

Meanwhile, the camp of president hopeful Prabowo Subianto planned to broadcast the real count of votes through two TV stations.

Taufik Ridho, head of election witnesses and legal affairs with the camp, said that the publication was intended to calm down and convince the supporters that it is Prabowo Subianto and his running mate, former key economy minister Hatta Radjasa, who win the election.

He added that the real count results compiled by the camp would be prepared as the comparative data to the ones by the KPU.

"As of 70 percent of votes input, the Prabowo-Hatta pairing has secured 51.67 percent votes compared to Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla who gained 48.33 percent votes," Taufik said on Thursday citing the result of real count process carried out by his camp.

He claimed that the Prabowo-Hatta pairing secured significant wins in Aceh, North Sumatra, Riau, Banten and West Java provinces.

The Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla pairing obtained more votes in Jambi, Bengkulu, Jakarta, Central Java, East Java and Yogyakarta provinces, according to Taufik.

He added that his camp is now expecting recapitulation of the remaining 30 percent votes from remaining provinces across the nation.

Should results of vote tally and reconciliation carried out by the KPU is not endorsed by both president camps, the country's highest judiciary body Constitutional Court (MK) would handle the announcement of the winner of the election.

In the worst case scenario, the MK may annul results of the KPU 's vote tally should it find that officials of the KPU committed violations in carrying out its jobs that eventually favoring certain camp.

"The MK may annul the election winner announced by the KPU," Said Salahuddin, director of election watchdog, the People's Synergy for Indonesian Democracy, said on Wednesday.

He added that the MK may order a re-voting be conducted entirely should such a condition occur.

The MK may also decide to grant the defeated candidate as the winner of the election should the winner is eventually proved of committing structured, systematic and massive violations that leads to his victory.

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