Will democracy survive presidential poll? | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Will democracy survive presidential poll?

  • Published: | Viewed: 2,372 | Comments: 0
  • Newspaper section: News
  • Writer: Alphonse F. LaPorta
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President Joko Widodo. Or is it President Prabowo Subianto? 

Over 700,000 Indonesian voters went to the polls on July 9 to elect a new president. It was the third time a president was to be directly elected by Indonesians under constitutional reforms enacted after the fall of Suharto’s authoritarian regime in 1998. This year the people’s choice, if the exit polls are to be believed, is Mr Widodo, or Jokowi as he is popularly known.

But former General Prabowo has challenged the heretofore reliable quick count results by citing spurious exit polls showing him with a 1.8% victory margin. Instead of conceding in what the authoritative polls said was an average 5.8% vote spread in Jokowi’s favour, Mr Prabowo is pressing ahead with challenges to the official count, which is expected to be delivered on Tuesday, with the prospect of an appeal to the Constitutional Court. In doing so, he has launched a public relations campaign to convince the public that he has been wronged by politically motivated polls and media friendly to the Jokowi campaign.

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