Indonesia: Democracy is the Loser, for Now
1. Electoral frand is perhaps the greatest effrontery to a nation’s democray and there are no winners. Once the facts are uncovered, a leader that takes power in a fraudulent election is deemed illegitimate by the people an hence loses his ability to unstable and unsustainable situation. From those who have had votes stolen from them, not only politicians lose-so do the voters. Their right to have their votes counted has been taken away. Hence, our voters and our democracy are the real losers if fraud is left unaddressed, as are the people in May 1998 who fought valianth for democracy to take root in Indonesia.
2. Making charges of electoral fraud is a serious exercise. It must not be taken lightly, based on suspicion alone or given currency simply because we have lost. It must be based on facts that are unimpeachable. If the facts are presented and seen as valid, then it is the responsibility of the media and people, those outside the power structure, to take those facts and apply them. Not doing so would be a gross injustice to our democracy.
3. We are assembled today solely to present the facts. This is not an exercise in pointing fingers and assigning blame. It is not, as some claim, an attempt to sow discord. Very simply, we are here to reveal to you how we managed to collect documented evidence, the body and scale of of that evidence and which nn shows beyond any reasonable doubt that electoral fraud with malicious intent did in fact occur in the 2019 elections.
4. Our main body of evidence is based on the use of a simple instrument, the smartphone. Election observers from across the volunteers who wanted to help safeguard Indonesia’s country, democracy, took photographs of vote tallies that were recorded at each of the roughly 800,000 polling stations. Using those photographs, we have so far audited the results at 477,000 polling stations and we have uncovered 73,715 cases of incorrect C1 summary data being input into the so-called Situng of the National Elections Commission – which is 15.4% of the total audited to date.
5. Besides the flagrant outright theft of votes, we have also seen before Election Day systemic attempts by the Jokowi administration to corrupt and manipulate our electoral system:
- Paper boxes were used by the electoral authorities, hence making it easier to destroy ballots;
- In numerous instances there was a failure by the National Elections Commission to provide suffcient funding, training and equipment to polling stations, hence rendering them vulnerable to manipulation by criminal parties;
- Although the National Elections Commission had a budget of IDR 25 trillion for IT support, IT experts concur there were grossly insufficient hardware and unsecured software used by the Commission, hence making it vulnerable to cyber-fraud;
- Unlike in previous elections, the government failed to invite any credible international monitors, such as the Carter Center, to secure the elections. Hence we were robbed of the possibility for the international community to see for themselves the irregularities that occurred on polling day.
- Prior to the election, the Prabowo team lodged a formal complaint to the National Election Commission about the voter registration roll, where statistical anomalies involving 17.5 million registered voters such as large numbers of people with the same birth date suggested the registration list was corrupted. Despite its promises to investigate, the Commission was derelict in duty since it inexplicably delayed its investigations until just before poling day and failed to provide any convincing report or findings on this critical issue.
- There were also numerous reports and complaints of coercive actions taken by security forces, whereby police used intimidation tactics with local government officials in an attempt to ensure their respective polling stations would favor the Jokowi ticket.
- In documented cases captured on video, many outraged voters and polling station officials showed pre-marked ballot paper in favor of Jokowi and in areas that were Prabowo strongholds, many voters were unable to vote due to a lack of ballot paper.
6. Many newspapers before polling day noted that our election would be the largest and most complicated single-electon in modern history. But we must ask ourselves, why was it designed this way by the Jokowi administration and for what purpose? Previous elections were not so complicated, and we wisely held presidential and parliamentary Elections on different dates. Now we know the answer: by making the elections complicated and almost impossible to manage properly, it would be easier to commit electoral fraud.
7. As I mentioned in the beginning of our talk, the real losers in the has been and will continue to be our duty to collect the evidence as we sort through it. We would like to believe we will be able to have our electoral agencies cooperate with us in fair and impartial manner but this remains to be seen. At the same time, we should not see this story ending on 22 May, which is when the National Election Commission is scheduled to conclude its count. Instead of paying heed to timelines dictated to us by the government, we must present this case to the public in the most transparent manner and let them decide what must be done-after all 2019 elections are the voters. It a real democracy is for and by the people, not the elite.