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Defeated Indonesian election candidates call for parliamentary probe

ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – Two unsuccessful candidates in last week’s Indonesian presidential election have urged Parliament to look into complaints of irregularities in the run-up to the event.

The call comes despite comments by independent observers that there were no signs of systematic fraud in the world’s biggest single-day election, apart from matters such as outdated electoral rolls or polling delays.

With official results only due by March 20, unofficial counts show Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto won the race in a single round of voting, with about 58 per cent of votes.

Rivals Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo are projected to have secured 25 per cent and 17 per cent respectively, with a preliminary count by election authorities showing a similar breakdown.

However, without providing evidence, both losing camps have complained of voter intimidation, manipulation of state institutions, and misuse of state resources, such as welfare funds, during the campaign period to sway the election outcome.

On Monday, Ganjar urged an inquiry when Parliament reconvenes on March 5.

“Something like this must be investigated,” he said. “At a minimum Parliament should hold a hearing.”

Anies, a former governor of the capital Jakarta, said yesterday his camp was “ready to participate” in a parliamentary inquiry that allows lawmakers to investigate government actions.