Sat, 10 Jul 2004

Ballot counting finishes with a win for Susilo

Bambang Nurbianto, Jakarta

The Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPUD) completed the ballot counting on Friday with presidential candidate Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and running mate Jusuf Kalla gaining the largest number of votes in the capital.

Jakarta is the first province to finish the ballot counting.

Susilo, a candidate of the newly established Democrat Party (PD), garnered nearly two million votes or 37.84 percent from the total of 5,198,158 valid votes cast in the capital's five municipalities and the Thousand Islands regency.

KPUD declared that the number of invalid votes reached 56,911 or 1.08 percent of a total of 5,255,068 votes.

Amien Rais and running mate Siswono Yudohusodo took second position with 1.42 million votes, followed by Megawati Soekarnoputri-Hasyim Muzadi with 1.17 million, Wiranto-Solahuddin Wahid with 499,455, and Hamzah Haz-Agum Gumelar with 121,924.

The commission recorded 6,869,147 eligible voters in the city, but only 5,255,069 voters voted in the July 5 presidential election. It means that over 1.61 million people in the city did not exercise their right to vote.

The final result of the ballot counting was announced at Hotel Nikko Jakarta on Friday afternoon.

The ceremony was officiated by KPUD chairman Muhamad Taufik and attended by commission members, representatives of the five candidates and election watchdogs.

Taufik reminded the supporters of all presidential candidates to respect the people's choice because all candidates had pledged to accept victory or defeat.

"I hope that all parties respect the election results so that the capital will remain secure and peaceful," he said.

He said the election, starting from the campaign period and the July 5 election, to the ballot counting, had taken place peacefully, without any significant problems.

He said there was still a chance for campaign managers to submit complaints to the Constitutional Court if they were dissatisfied with the ballot counting.

Taufik added the Jakarta Police were still investigating the alleged provision of 200 teenagers below voting age with fake ID cards to vote at a polling station in Kwitang subdistrict, Central Jakarta. The case involved religious leader Habib Fuad Al-Hafsi and Central Jakarta KPUD member Zainal Abidin.