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Council raises red flag on ‘rogue’ pollsters

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THEJAKARTAPOST.COM – The Indonesian Association for Public Opinion Surveys (Persepi) said on Wednesday that it would launch an investigation into member organizations for allegedly releasing “dubious” quick count results declaring the Gerindra Party’s ticket of Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa as the winner of the July 9 presidential election.
News channel tvOne, which is affiliated with the Prabowo-Hatta ticket, published on Wednesday three quick counts results that Persepi deemed as “questionable”.
Two of the three survey institutions were members of Persepi.
“We will summons the two for clarification, but if we find that their explanations are not satisfactory then we will launch an audit to probe results from their surveys,” Andrinof Chaniago of Persepi said on Wednesday night.
The two pollsters in question are the Indonesia Votes Network (JSI), which declared that the Prabowo-Hatta ticket got 50.22 percent of the vote against the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) presidential ticket of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Jusuf Kalla’s 49.78 percent, and the Strategic Development and Policy Research Center (Puskaptis), which declared victory for the Prabowo-Hatta ticket with 51.96 percent, against 48.04 percent for the Jokowi-Kalla ticket.
Persepi said it would not summons the Indonesia Research Center (IRC), which is affiliated with the Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) Group owned by Hari Tanoesoedibyo, who is a member of Prabowo’s national campaign team, because it was not a member of the association.
Asked if the two pollsters had been politically motivated, Andrinof declined to comment. “We have not reached a conclusion yet. We sense that there were errors behind the quick counts,” he said.
Another Persepi member, Hamdi Muluk, said that the association intended to go public with the results of its probe. “We will announce the results of the investigation before the General Elections Commission [KPU] announces the official [election] result on July 22,” Hamdi said.

Four other pollsters have declared victory for Jokowi, all with 52 percent of the vote.
Saiful Mujani Research and Consultant (SMRC) declared Jokowi-Kalla the winner with 52.88 percent against Prabowo-Hatta’s 47.22 percent; state-run broadcaster Radio Republic Indonesia’s (RRI) quick count results showed Jokowi gained 52.48 percent, more than Prabowo’s 47.52 percent; Kompas newspaper’s research department’s quick count also handed victory to Jokowi with 52.12 percent against his rival’s 47.88 percent; and the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) found that Jokowi won with 52 percent against Prabowo’s 48 percent of votes.
Hanta Yuda, executive director of the Pol-Tracking Institute, hinted that foul play could have taken place in the publication of results from the quick counts.
Hanta confided that the institute had initially signed a contract with a certain television channel to publish its quick count results on Wednesday, but the station terminated the deal at the last minute, arguing that a breach of contract had occurred.
Many have suspected that the station was news channel tvOne.
“We decided not to publish our survey with them. Earlier, they also pledged that we would be the only pollster they hired, but later we learned there were three pollsters already working with them,” Hanta said.
As for its own quick count, Hanta said that Pol-Tracking declared that Jokowi had won the election with 53.37 percent, against Prabowo’s 46.6 percent.
Responding to the brouhaha, KPU chairman Husni Kamil Manik said that the public should simply wait for the official result, which would be published on July 22.
“People should be aware that the quick count results are not the official result from the KPU,” Husni told a press conference at the KPU’s headquarters in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday.
Election watchdogs were also surprised to learn about the different results delivered by pollsters.
People’s Synergy for Democracy in Indonesia (Sigma) director Said Salahuddin said that differences in the quick count results could further confuse the public, which was already divided.
“In past presidential elections, differences in the quick count results were usually small in percentage, and did not affect the winners of the elections,” he said.
“So, the public must now be wondering, which results should they trust?”

Sumber : the Jakarta Post, 10 Juli 2014

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