Pastika wins second term: KPUD
The plenary meeting of the Bali General Elections Commission (KPUD Bali) on Sunday finally appointed incumbent Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika and his running mate, I Ketut Sudikerta, as the winners of the Bali gubernatorial election. The commission’s final count revealed that Pastika-Sudikerta obtained 1,063,734 votes or 50.02 percent of the total vote.
Pastika-Sudikerta had a slight lead of 996 votes compared to candidate ticket number one, incumbent Deputy Governor Anak Agung Ngurah Puspayoga and his running mate, Dewa Nyoman Sukrawan, who gained 1,062,738 votes, or 49.98 percent.
However, Puspayoga-Sukrawan’s team rejected the result, saying that the vote count process had been unfairly implemented in detriment to their candidate. They refused to sign the result of the plenary meeting and presented seven pages of reasons for the rejection with an additional 72-page supporting document to the commission. “We will file a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court against the final result on Tuesday or Wednesday. We are eager to have justice from the court,” the advocacy team representative of Puspayoga-Sukrawan, Arteria Dahlan, told Bali Daily after the plenary meeting at the KPUD Bali office in Denpasar.
The election has been a head-to-head “battle” placing Pastika and Sudikerta, who are supported by a coalition of nine political parties under the Bali Mandara Coalition, which includes the Golkar Party and the Democratic Party, against Puspayoga and Sukrawan, who are endorsed by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). In the 2008 election, Pastika and Puspayoga were endorsed by the PDI-P. However, the PDI-P refused to endorse Pastika for his re-election bid. Pastika then ran for re-election with Sudikerta, currently deputy regent of Badung. Meanwhile, Puspayoga ran with Sukrawan, who is currently the speaker of Buleleng Legislative Council.
Voting ran smoothly on May 15 as residents cast their ballots at more than 6,000 voting stations across the island. However, the contradictory quick count results from several survey institutions enticed both camps to claim victory, triggering tension between their respective supporters.
The plenary meeting took place in a heated atmosphere as debates raged repeatedly during the meeting. The PDI-P team initially refused to come to the meeting without their supporters, although the KPUD had previously announced to all candidates that only two witnesses and the two candidate’s teams were allowed to attend the meeting due to the limited space at the KPUD Bali office. The PDI-P team, accompanied by a dozen supporters carrying banners demanding the KPUD to do a re-count, reasoned that they needed the nine extra people to be witnesses and bring documents.
The KPUD refused to allow these supporters in. The PDI-P team finally accepted this and entered the meeting room about 15 minutes after the meeting had officially opened.
Disputes continued during the five-hour meeting. Dahlan and his associate Made Supartha repeatedly demanded the KPUD conduct a recount. “We demand the KPUD conduct a recount of the votes based on the C1 documents because we found that there are mistakes in the count process. We found that many votes for our candidate disappeared,” Arteria said. Arteria claimed that Puspayoga-Sukrawan had lost most of these missing votes in Buleleng, claiming 2,700 votes there, and a further 400 votes in Karangasem.
The discussion became more heated when the Pastika-Sudikerta team representative, Gede Sumarjaya Linggih, demanded the PDI-P team be wise during the meeting, as Dahlan repeatedly refused to sit down. The debate between both teams ended after Denpasar Police Chief Sr. Comr. I Wayan Sunartha intervened, reminding everyone to be civil during the meeting.
In addition to claiming errors in the vote count, the PDI-P team also reported that they refused to accept the election result because they had found money politics and intimidation that caused a reduction in their votes. They also protested the extra security system implement by the Bali Police and Udayana Military Command during the election process.
The chairman of KPUD Bali, Ketut Sukawati Lanang Perbawa, rejected the possibility of a recount as it should have been done during the process at the district level plenary meeting. Lanang said that any protest of the count process should be conveyed at a maximum of seven days after election day.
Lanang added that the rejection by candidate’s team would not affect the legality of the result. “We are waiting to see whether the candidate files a lawsuit with the constitutional court. They have three days to file an election dispute. We are ready for that,” Lanang said.
Meanwhile Pastika-Sudikerta’s team warmly received the final result. “We fully trust the KPUD in conducting the vote count,” Sumarjaya said.
Separately, Pastika said that he hoped all Bali residents would accept the election result. “We hope there will be no more election disputes after the plenary meeting as we promised before,” Pastika said, referring to Puspayoga’s statement at the plenary meeting of the Bali Legislative Council at the opening of the campaign period in which he urged people to accept any election result.
Pastika also demanded his supporters control themselves and not have any parties to celebrate the victory. “We really hope that everyone could maintain peace in Bali,” he said.
The plenary meeting was conducted amid tight security. The police closed Jl. Cok Agung Tresna for more than five hours.
More than 990 personnel secured the meeting for some kilometers from the KPUD office, including the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) and crowd control teams. Military personnel were also deployed to back up police security operations. Water cannons and armored personnel carriers had been made ready at the KPUD office and many other public facilities.
Bali Police operational chief Sr. Comr. Alit Widana said that the Bali Police had deployed more that 9,500 personnel across Bali to anticipate security problems after the election results were announced. “We secured everywhere across the island, including many public facilities, like malls, tourist attractions,” he said.
Prominent Balinese figure Jro Gde Suwena Putus Upadesha hoped that all Balinese would accept the election result. “Whoever the winner, all the candidates are the best figures for Bali. We really hope all of us could keep Bali peaceful,” the chairman of the Grand Council of Customary Villages (MUDP) said. MUDP is an umbrella organization of more than 1,400 customary villages across Bali.