Yesterday, New Mandala‘s @Berger_Dominic and @Gammonator, and blogger and crack photographer Ray Yen spent some time at the KPU (General Elections Commission) to witness the final stages of vote tabulation before dropping in on a victory party at Megawati Soekarnoputri’s house in South Jakarta.
Here are a few snapshots of the day taken by Ray.
There was a formidable police presence in and around the KPU building in the elite neighbourhood of Menteng, with the street leading to the Hotel Indonesia roundabout–a usual hotspot for protests–blocked off to traffic. Any troublemakers would have to get past several hundred armed police officers (not to mention the water cannons and armoured vehicles they had parked outside the building).
The day’s drama came courtesy of the Prabowo Subianto lawyers-cum-scrutineers present at the count who, a moment after their candidate gave a fiery media conference at campaign HQ ‘rejecting’ the legitimacy of the election, read out a letter from Prabowo announcing his ‘withdrawal’ from the whole process. They then cheerfully got up and walked out of the room, saying polite farewells to the Jokowi representatives and election officials, before holding an informal chat with reporters and sympathisers at the front door.
This was followed by a larger presser on the street outside for television cameras.
After this drama, the police started putting on their riot gear. (Just in case, eh?)
With the atmosphere at the KPU taking a turn for the worse, it was time for a celebratory buka puasa (fast breaking) at the South Jakarta home of Megawati Soekarnoputri.
Jokowi-JK and PDI-P memorabilia was on sale outside the house.
Bizarrely, the actual winning candidates weren’t given an opportunity to speak at the preliminary victory presser. It was clear, though, who the real VIP was. Below is PKB party chairman Muhaimin Iskandar paying his respects to her.
The president-elect and his running mate, meanwhile, sat in silence.
Jokowi backers from within PDI-P, among them the high-profile MP’s Maruarar Sirait (pictured below left) and Rieke Diah Pitaloka, were in good spirits.
It’s been a tough election season for Megawati’s daughter, Puan Maharani, whom many blame both for a botched legislative campaign and PDI-P head office’s paltry efforts in mobilising the party machine for Jokowi. Puan got quite emotional as she sat with her mother to watch the KPU count being read on television. Jokowi had already left to make a surprise visit to the KPU to watch himself be officially anointed as the president-elect.
When the KPU boss’ gavel finally came down, the assembled crowd burst into cheers before standing for the national anthem.
NasDem boss Surya Paloh presumably had little trouble getting himself on Metro TV, the unabashedly pro-Jokowi news station which he owns.