For some time now, supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto have made accusations casting doubt the integrity of Indonesia's elections, such as unsubstantiated allegations of foreign interference in the poll and voting rolls containing millions of "ghost votes". Some observers believe they are laying the groundwork to demand a recount if the vote is close (as they did in 2014) or a face-saving measure if, as the majority of recent polling suggests will happen, Prabowo loses by a sizable margin to President Joko Widodo on April 17.
However, the rhetoric of Prabowo's allies seems to have gotten more heated in recent days, with the candidate's brother and campaign communication director, Hashim Djojohadikusumo, saying that they would not just report election fraud to local authorities like the Indonesian Police's Bareskrim (Criminal Investigation Agency), but also international organizations such as Interpol and even the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the judicial organ of the United Nations.
"Yes, maybe we will bring it Bareskrim or we might report to Interpol, depending on the legal department. We want to report to the International Court of Justice, human rights, we report to Geneva, to the UN, to all parties," Hashim said at a press conference at the Ayana MidPlaza Hotel in Jakarta yesterday as quoted by CNN Indonesia.
Prabowo's younger brother tried to argue that this sort of reporting of election fraud to an international body would not be an extraordinary occurrence, noting that many international observers and NGOs are currently questioning the results of the election that occurred in Thailand last week.
Perhaps most troubling, Hashim also made reference to "people power" as another remedy for election fraud. "If evidence of fraud is found, we certainly will not accept it. Because cheating is criminal. If people power is legitimate, the people also have the power to show their dissatisfaction," he said.
Another senior Prabowo supporter, PAN Advisory Board Chairman Amien Rais, also came under fire this week for saying that he did not trust the country's Constitutional Court to deliver a fair verdict on election fraud and that if he felt there was election fraud he would mobilize the masses to go to Monas (the National Monument) with "people power" to protest the result. Many, including representatives of the Constitutional Court itself, called the statement a threat that constituted contempt of the court.
After voters first picked between Prabowo and Jokowi in the 2014 presidential election, the quick counts generally indicated a clear victory for the current president. But Prabowo's camp, still claiming victory, demanded a recount before eventually saying they rejected the results of the vote due to massive and systemic cheating. However, his campaign never mounted a legal challenge to the results and independent observers declared that the vote had been "fair and free" without any substantive evidence of fraud.