July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo is leading Prabowo Subianto with more than three-quarters of votes counted from last week’s election, according to unofficial websites tallying the actual results.
Widodo, known as Jokowi, had 52.8 percent of the 123.4 million votes counted as of 5:48 p.m. in Jakarta, with Prabowo on 47.2 percent, according to Kawalpemilu.org, a website that tracks actual results at polling stations as they are uploaded to the General Elections Commission website. Most unofficial partial vote counts by survey companies show Jokowi with a 2-6 percentage point lead before official results due by July 22.
Indonesia is experiencing its first tight presidential race since direct elections for the post started a decade ago, with the outcome placing Asia’s fifth largest economy under the leadership of Jakarta Governor Jokowi, 53, or ex-general Prabowo, 62. A margin of about five percentage points suggests Jokowi will maintain his advantage and make it hard to contest the results in court, said Andrinof Chaniago, a political analyst.
“Above three percent is enough to concede defeat,” Chaniago, from the University of Indonesia near Jakarta, said yesterday by phone, speaking of Prabowo. “If there are little disputes in the poll booths, it won’t change the result.”
Prabowo’s coalition will contest the official result in the constitutional court, the country’s highest, if its legal team gathers the evidence to do so, he told reporters July 14. A challenge would mean another month of uncertainty for voters and investors in the world’s third-largest democracy.
The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index gained 0.9 percent to close at its highest level since May 2013, while the rupiah snapped a three-day loss to strengthen 0.4 percent. The market is buoyed by investor confidence as the tallies show Jokowi leading, Jakarta-based PT BNI Securities analyst Ankga Adiwirasta said by phone.
On Java island, where over half of Indonesians live, Jokowi leads in Jakarta, East Java and Central Java, while Prabowo is in front in West Java and Banten provinces, according to data compiled by Kawalpemilu. West Java is Indonesia’s most populous province with 43 million people.
Kawalpemilu has about 700 volunteers who take polling booth result forms that the election commission posts on its own website and tally those results on the Kawalpemilu site, founder Ainun Najib, 28, a Nanyang Technological University computer engineering graduate who lives in Singapore, said today by phone. Incorrect inputs are marked with error flags for the public to see and these won’t get fixed until after counting is completed to prevent hacking, he said. Najib said he has not been contacted by the election commission.
Kawal-suara, a website that also uses counts uploaded on the election commission’s website, shows a 51.64 percent lead for Jokowi against 48.36 percent for Prabowo. Both Jokowi and Prabowo said on July 9 that they are in front, citing quick count results by survey companies.
“The entire focus is now on the integrity of this count” by the commission, said Andrew Thornley, Jakarta-based program director of elections at The Asia Foundation. ‘With this level of transparency, it’s a significant initiative to allow us to verify these results.’’
Other regions where Jokowi leads include Kalimantan and most of Sulawesi island, while Prabowo leads in Aceh, West Sumatra and the Maluku or Spice Islands, according to Kawalpemilu.
Before the election commission can release official results it must tally the ballots of the forecast 75 percent of the 190 million eligible voters who turned out. The results are hauled from polling stations on 900 inhabited islands in the Southeast Asian archipelago, which would stretch from New York to Alaska, to regional centers. While counting at local booths is done publicly -- those figures form the basis of poll company surveys -- adding the results up is done in secret.
In South Sulawesi, election officials today started pooling votes at regency and city level with no major problems reported from counting in the districts, said Laode Arumahi, head of the province’s Election Supervisory Board.
“From the start we made it clear that protests from witnesses or the public will have to be resolved on location,” Arumahi said by phone. South Sulawesi has about 6 million registered voters, Arumahi said.
Two survey companies that showed Prabowo in the lead declined to have their July 9 quick count results audited by their peers, according to Dodi Ambardi, a member of Persepi, an organization of survey companies. The audit would test such things as the companies’ methodology, their samples, the allocation of polling stations and data recording, Ambardi said today by phone. Persepi will soon release the audits of survey companies whose quick counts put Jokowi in front, he said.
Both candidates in their victory speeches called on supporters to guard against attempts to manipulate the tally, while outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged supporters on both sides to remain calm following the vote.
Voters have been photographing results at local booths and posting the pictures on the Internet, in a grassroots monitoring effort to help ensure the count is fair, the Jakarta Globe reported last week.
To ensure Kawalpemilu’s volunteers don’t tamper with the votes, Najib said he selected them from a circle of friends whom he or his friends can vouch for and subject their work to random checks. It’s hard to gauge who’s leading with both Jokowi and Prabowo claiming victory, he said.
“As a third, independent source, we will be able to judge which among the two is more reliable, and thus we hope this will prevent disunity,” said Najib, who participated in the 2002 International Mathematical Olympiad in Glasgow, Scotland.
“If two sides are claiming different things and people are engulfed, you don’t really know,” he said. “So we wanted to show that there is an independent option that you can see and scrutinize.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Berni Moestafa in Jakarta at firstname.lastname@example.org; Brian Leonal in Singapore at email@example.com; Rieka Rahadiana in Jakarta at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at email@example.com