Rabu, 12 November 2008
Soekarwo wins by slim margin in E. Java gov race
The Jakarta Post , Surabaya
East Java gubernatorial candidate Soekarwo and his running mate Saifullah Yusuf on Tuesday defied all quick count results to win the vote by a narrow margin over the pre-election favorites.
They defeated Khofifah Indar Parawansa and her running mate Mudjiono by a mere 60,000 votes.
Khofifah, whom quick count polls had unanimously declared the winner, protested the final tally by the East Java General Elections Commission (KPUD), saying she would bring the case to the Constitutional Court after citing alleged vote rigging.
The KPUD’s final tally gave Soekarwo 50.2 percent, or 7,729,944 votes, and Khofifah only 49.8 percent, or 7,669,7212 votes.
Soekarwo dominated in 22 regencies and municipalities, while Khofifah won in only 16. Almost 50 percent, or 13 million, of the province’s 29.2 million eligible voters did not vote.
On Nov. 4, polling day, five pollsters showed Khofifah winning 50 percent of votes and Soekarwo trailing with 49 percent.
The KPUD’s final vote count took place under tight security at the Mercure Hotel. Thousands of supporters from both camps rallied outside the hotel, each claiming victory in the neck-and-neck race.
KPUD chairman Wahyudi Purnomo announced the final tally on Tuesday, and gave each camp three days to contest the results.
Khofifah’s camp refused to sign off on the result and said it would complain to the Constitutional Court of alleged vote rigging, including in a number of polling stations in Madura.
Soekarwo, an influential former provincial administration secretary, called on his supporters to remain calm and maintain political stability following the KPUD’s announcement.
Soekarwo and Saifullah were nominated by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party and the National Mandate Party (PAN). Soekarwo also had the backing of influential clerics and the bureaucracy.
Khofifah expressed her disappointment in regency KPUDs on Madura Island, accusing them of turning a blind eye to blatant vote rigging on the staunchly pro-Soekarwo island.
Khofifah and Mudjiono were nominated by the United Development Party (PPP) and had the backing of Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama, its women’s wing Fatayat, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and several minor parties.
Airlangga University political analyst Kacung Maridjan played down the discrepancy between the official count and the quick counts, and urged both camps to take legal steps to address alleged vote rigging, rather than resort to violence.
“The next governor’s legitimacy lies not in the slim victory but in the way they make changes during their tenure.”