Potential foul play in Indonesia’s election

Former military general Prabowo Subianto may not be a reliable protector of human rights in Indonesia if he is elected president. AAP/Zoe Reynolds

As the contest for the Indonesian presidency becomes too close to call, political scientist Djayadi Hanan says there is a possibility of foul play in Wednesday’s election.

“So each side will try any effort to make sure that their supporters go to the polls,” he said. “I think there is a possibility also that one side will try to obstruct the other side, or the other side’s supporters to come to the polls, with many types of activities, legally or illegally.”

Hanan said the determining factor in this neck-and-neck race would be the voter turnout. He predicts some 80% of voters will go to the polls.

Indonesia will choose between former military general Prabowo Subianto and Jakarta governor Joko Widodo to replace Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as president.

Hanan told The Conversation that former military general Prabowo Subianto was “somebody who we cannot rely on” to uphold human rights.

Prabowo was dismissed from the Indonesian military.

“We in Indonesia know and he also admitted that at least during the early days of the Indonesian reform era in 1997-98, during that turmoil, Prabowo [was] involved in several of the kidnappings of Indonesian reformasi activists,” Hanan said. “Some of them are still alive, but some of them, 13 of them, it is not clear where they are right now.”

Joko Widodo, meanwhile, has clearly stated his commitment to human rights in his policy platforms, Hanan said.

You can listen to an edited version of the interview with Djayadi Hanan about the candidates below:

Read the full transcript here.

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