Indonesia's Prabowo says will not accept election result

Indonesia's Prabowo says will not accept election result

JAKARTA - Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto said on Sunday he will not accept the election result due to be announced in coming days, accusing the Elections Commission of not properly investigating alleged cheating at the polls.

The Elections Commission is due to announce on Tuesday the winner of Indonesia's closest presidential election ever.

A protracted wrangle over the result could begin to undermine confidence in Southeast Asia's biggest economy which has seen strong investment, particularly in its extensive natural resources, in recent years.

Monitoring of ballot counts by private groups last week, and quick counts shortly after the July 9 election by reputable pollsters, showed Prabowo's rival, Jakarta Governor Joko"Jokowi" Widodo was set to win.

But Prabowo said voting had to be held again in certain areas in line with the recommendation of an election watchdog group. "If they don't, then that is a crime. This very much calls into question the legitimacy of the whole process," Prabowo told reporters.

Fadli Zon, vice secretary general of Probowo's Gerindra party, said they had evidence of many instances of cheating. "We ask the election committee to solve this problem with recounting," Zon told reporters. "We will not accept (it)," he said, of the result, adding that the announcement should be delayed until the problem had been resolved.

Officials from the Elections Commission could not be immediately reached for comment.

Indonesia, a member of the G-20 group of nations, was swept by bloodshed in which hundreds of people were killed when strongman ruler Suharto was ousted in 1998 after more than three decades in power.

It has since made a slow transition to full democracy, with this only its third direct presidential election.

Analysts said Prabowo would find it difficult to provide the necessary evidence to justify delaying the election results.

"Prabowo's team would need to have some idea of how the irregularities added up to justify asking the (Elections Commission) not to release the election result," said Paul Rowland, a Jakarta-based political analyst. "The problems with the counting process and even intimidation or violence on election day have been relatively insignificant," he said.

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