VICE Votes

Jokowi’s Volunteers Offer $7 Million to Anyone Who Can Prove Election Fraud

Official counts show that President Jokowi is up for a second term, but his rival Prabowo Subianto says the election is rigged.
April 30, 2019, 7:45am
security at a polling station in Indonesia
A security personnel checks ballot boxes before polls opened during elections in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia on April 17, 2019. Photo by Willy Kurniawan/Reuters

Indonesia's 2019 presidential race was nothing we hadn't seen before. It was basically a sequel—a boring one at that—of what went down five years ago. The same two men, incumbent President Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, ran against each other. Again, quick counts show that Jokowi won. And again, Prabowo insists that the election was tainted with fraud, and he's the rightful winner of Indonesia's highest office. The whole thing feels like déjà vu.


Now, two weeks after election day, some of Jokowi's supporters are fighting back against Prabowo's claims and they're willing to risk a huge amount of money to shut the general and his supporters up once and for all. The group of supporters, who call themselves the Alliance of 7 Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin Volunteers, announced in a press conference on Monday that they've set up a reward of Rp 100 billion ($7 million USD) for any of Prabowo supporter who can prove that people from the Jokowi camp committed fraud during the election that was held on April 17.

The alliance is made of several Muslim organisations and representatives from the group said that the money came from a number of Muslim entrepreneurs.

"Some Muslim business owners were very concerned about the slander that has been circulating," the alliance said in a joint statement to Detik. "So these business owners are ready to give a reward of Rp 100 billion to anyone from the Prabowo camp who can prove the existence of massive, structural fraud in the 2019 presidential election that was conducted by Jokowi's team, which they said cost Prabowo at least 5 percent of the votes."

Neither Prabowo nor his supporters have publicly responded to this challenge.

When quick count results were announced on by private pollsters showing Jokowi's victory on April 17, Prabowo quickly dismissed them, saying that he had a 52 percent win according to his team's own counts.

"Indonesian citizens, I'm reminding you firmly that we know that there have been efforts from certain survey institutions that work for one side to falsely show that we've lost," Prabowo said then in a televised speech on April 17, surrounded by members of his party, Gerindra.

"Do not believe them, keep monitoring your polling station and the official tallies, and guard your subdistrict. Don't give up," he added. "I'm asking my supporters to stay calm and to not get provoked. Focus on guarding the ballot boxes so we can fight all the lies they've told us. Again, do not get provoked and avoid overreaction, including all actions punishable by law and any form of violence."

Quick counts are not official, but in Indonesia, they're accurate enough to call a race. Meanwhile, Indonesia's General Election Commission (KPU) has until May 22 to complete official counting of the votes. So far, with 50 percent of all ballots tallied, KPU said that Jokowi's ahead with 56.2 percent of the votes, compared to Prabowo's 43.8 percent.

If any Prabowo supporter comes forward with solid proof that the election was rigged in Jokowi's favour, it is likely that they'll take the case to the Constitutional Court, the only body that can potentially overturn the official election count, and also the same court that rejected Prabowo's challenge to the election result when he lost the presidency to Jokowi in 2014.