Videos circulating online showed thousands of ballots for Indonesia’s Wednesday elections scattered in a shophouse. As a result, the Indonesian Election Supervision Agency is investigating claims of vote fraud. Around 320,000 overseas voters living in Malaysia will need to vote again in both presidential and legislative elections due to evidence that postal ballots sent from the neighboring nation were tampered with ahead of the election.
According to opposition party representatives, all ballots of Indonesians living in Kuala Lumpur were in favor of re-electing President Joko Widodo. Widodo is also the son of Indonesia’s ambassador to Malaysia. Widodo’s challenger, former special forces general Prabowo Subianto, has alleged major irregularities with voter rolls throughout his campaign.
The Election Supervision Agency determined that the election could not be considered free, fair, and honest. Two members of the election organizing committee in Kuala Lumpur were dismissed.
The Agency is also recommending that polls reopen for overseas votes in Sydney, Australia, as many Indonesians there were unable to vote in time for the election.
Some overseas Indonesians may vote again after fraud claim
Indonesia’s Election Supervision Agency said Tuesday about 320,000 overseas voters in neighboring Malaysia’s biggest city should vote again in presidential and legislative elections after finding evidence that postal ballots had been tampered with.
Election officials rushed to Malaysia last week to investigate claims of vote fraud after videos circulated online showed thousands of ballots for Wednesday’s elections scattered throughout a shophouse.
Opposition party representatives said the ballots for Indonesians living in Kuala Lumpur were marked in favor of President Joko Widodo, who is campaigning for re-election, and a legislative candidate who is the son of Indonesia’s ambassador to Malaysia.
The agency “found legal ballot papers that allegedly were marked by non-legitimate voters at two locations in Selangor, Malaysia,” said Rahmat Bagja, one of the agency’s commissioners.
He said that requirements for the elections to be free, fair and honest were violated and recommended that Indonesia’s Election Commission dismiss two members of the election organizing committee in Kuala Lumpur to avoid conflicts of int
One of them is Indonesia’s deputy ambassador to Malaysia, Krishna Hannan.
The Election Commission is responsible for organizing elections and the Election Supervision Agency is responsible for overseeing them.
About 193 million Indonesians are eligible to vote in the elections for president, the Senate and national, provincial and district legislatures.
Opinion polls show Widodo has a large lead over his challenger, former special forces general Prabowo Subianto, whose campaign has repeatedly alleged major irregularities with voter rolls.
Bagja said the overseas vote in Sydney should be reopened because many expatriate Indonesians in the Australian city were unable to cast ballots in time.
Source: The Washington Post, Niniek Karmini, Apr. 16, 2019. Photo credit to Achmad Ibrahim/AP.