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Both candidates in Indonesia election claim victory

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Both candidates in Indonesia election claim victory | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Both candidates in Indonesia election claim victory
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Both candidates claimed victory in Indonesia’s presidential election on Wednesday, suggesting there could be a drawn out constitutional battle to decide who will next lead the world’s third-largest democracy.

Just a few hours after voting closed, Jakarta governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he had won, based on what are widely seen as independent quick counts of more than 90 percent of the votes. A victory for him would be seen as a triumph for a new breed of politician that has emerged in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, and increase the promise of reform in government.

But ex-general Prabowo Subianto, the rival candidate seen as a representative of the old guard that flourished under decades of autocratic rule, pointed to a quick count by other pollsters naming him the winner.

He did not name the pollsters but a check by Reuters of eight agencies tallying the votes showed two put him ahead by between 1-2 percentage points. The other six showed a Jokowi win by around five percentage points.

The quick counts are conducted by private agencies which collate vote tallies as they come out of each district. The results are not official, but quick counts by three non-partisan pollsters – CSIS, Kompas and Saifulmujani – showed a Jokowi win. Their predictions were accurate in the April presidential elections.

The Election Commission will take about two weeks to declare the results officially and the new president is not due to take office until Oct. 1.

Ahead of the vote, the two candidates had been neck and neck in opinion polls as Jokowi lost a huge early lead in the face of smear campaigns and a far more focused, and expensive, race for the presidency by his rival.

“We are thankful that according to the quick count announcements, until now, they show that Jokowi-JK at this moment in the count have won,” Jokowi told reporters and jubilant supporters in south Jakarta. JK refers to his running mate Jusuf Kalla, who was a vice president in the first term of outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

His rival Prabowo countered about an hour later with the same claim.

“(The quick counts) show that we, Prabowo-Hatta, have received the support and mandate from the people of Indonesia,” he told a rally in the capital, referring to his running mate Hatta Rajasa.

There have been concerns of violence once the result is known, a worry alluded to by outgoing President Yudhoyono when he urged both sides to accept the result. But there were no reports of any violence during the voting and in the early hours of counting.

It has been the dirtiest and most confrontational campaign in memory in a country which traditionally holds up the value of consensus politics.

OFFICIAL RESULT

After the official result is declared, candidates can challenge the results in the Constitutional Court, the final arbiter over contested polls.

The Court’s reputation has been badly tarnished after its chief was sentenced to jail for life this month for corruption.

“There have always been challenges…So we could end up with delayed certainty for a few weeks,” Douglas Ramage, a Jakarta-based political analyst told Reuters.

The government declared Wednesday a public holiday and markets were closed although the rupiah currency hit a seven-week high against the dollar in offshore markets on Jokowi’s victory claim.

His clean image is seen likely to bring in more foreign investment as he seeks to correct Indonesia’s reputation of widespread corruption.

But any euphoria in the market could quickly evaporate if the stalemate over the result is not quickly resolved.

“This is one of the most important elections in Indonesia’s reformation history,” Bernard Wanandi, 37, said at a polling station in Menteng, a Jakarta suburb. “As a young generation, we have high expectations of the new leader, hoping he will bring the country forward and change the country tremendously.”

GROWING FRUSTRATION

The election is being held during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in the country with the world’s biggest population of Muslims.

There has been growing frustration in recent years over the way Indonesia has been governed, with corruption rampant and growth slowing.

It is a sentiment both candidates have addressed in their campaigns, although they offer starkly different personalities.

Jokowi, 53 and born into poverty, has stormed his way to the top rungs of leadership with a clean image and a reputation for competence in local government, a reversal of the autocracy, corruption and power politics that have weighed down Indonesia for decades.

Prabowo, 62, ran on the promise of strong, tough leadership, playing up his military past and invoking memories of Indonesia’s post-colonial and fiercely nationalist first president Sukarno, who ruled from 1945-67.

Prabowo’s high-profile military career, during which he rose speedily through the ranks, unravelled quickly after the 1998 fall of long-serving autocrat Suharto, his former father-in-law. Allegations of human rights abuses during his military days have plagued his campaign, although he denies the charges and has never been taken to court for any such offences.

“I just voted for Prabowo because I’ve been promised by his party they will pay for my children’s education. I personally like him because he is the former son-in-law of Suharto,” said housewife Titi Rahayati, 49, in the West Java city of Tasikmalaya.

The election will mark the first time a directly elected president hands over the reins to another. Outgoing President Yudhoyono, who has largely disappointed in recent years, must step down in October after serving two terms.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Environmentalists criticise Netflix fishing doco for inaccuracies and misinformation

Maya Taylor

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Environmentalists criticise Netflix fishing doco for inaccuracies and misinformation | Thaiger
PHOTO: Alex Berger / Flickr

As Thailand accuses a Netflix documentary of using outdated and inaccurate information about the country’s fishing industry, a number of global environmental experts are echoing similar criticisms. According to a report in Coconuts, Seaspiracy has been slammed for being full of inaccuracies and twisting the science behind the damage to the world’s oceans, minimising the role of climate change and plastic pollution.

Brian Kahn, a journalist with an MA in Climate and Society, has written a piece called, Don’t Watch Netflix’s Seaspiracy, in which he also accuses the documentary of resorting to racial stereotypes.

“The bad guys are Asians, specifically Japanese whale and dolphin hunters and Chinese consumers of shark fin soup. The good guys – in this case, the experts he cites – are mostly white.”

According to the Coconuts report, the Marine Stewardship Council in London agrees the documentary contains “several inaccuracies” and the Plastic Pollution Coalition says the makers have “cherry-picked” quotes that will fit with their narrative. Marine biology magazine, Hakai, has also weighed in on the matter.

“Though the film misleads viewers with oversimplified science, its real harm is that it ignores the history, culture, and systemic inequities that are entwined with ocean conservation.”

Seaspiracy had its global release last month and has become one of the top 10 most-watched offerings on the Netflix streaming service. Opinion is divided, with many praising British filmmaker Ali Tabrizi for highlighting the issues with the global fishing industry, while others have slammed it for being biased and scientifically inaccurate.

The Royal Thai Navy has also criticised its portrayal of the country’s fishing industry, claiming it’s based on outdated information. In 2015, reporter Thapanee Eadsrichai exposed the significant role human trafficking and slavery played in the industry. This led to a crackdown of sorts, although slavery is still suspected of playing a role, on a smaller scale. The EU then threatened to ban all Thai seafood when the Kingdom’s illegal fishing practices came to light, but backed down when Thailand took steps to rectify the situation.

SOURCE: Coconuts

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Condolences from Thailand to UK on Prince Philip’s death

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Condolences from Thailand to UK on Prince Philip’s death | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: The King and Queen of Thailand greet the King and Queen of England

The leaders of Thailand have sent messages of condolences to their British counterparts following the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Friday. His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand has sent a message of condolence to Prince Philip’s widow, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, released by the Thai Royal Household Bureau, stating that the King and Queen are deeply saddened by Prince Philip’s death.

“We all in Thailand join the people of Great Britain in mourning this great loss, a sense of loss being shared by peoples around the world, whose lives have been touched and enriched by His Royal Highness’ enduring legacies in their diversity.

We still recall, with much pride and warmth, the two historic state visits made by Your Majesty in 1972 and 1996, with His Royal Highness at your side, as guests of my beloved father, His late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Just as important to the people of Thailand was how His Royal Highness wished, during his later visits on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund, to share with them his love of nature and passion for the environment, thus inspiring a number of essential projects of conservation.

May I, on behalf of the people of Thailand, express to Your Majesty, the Royal Family and the British people our heartfelt sympathy and condolences for this truly grievous loss.”

Meanwhile, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha released a statement on behalf of the people of Thailand, saying their thoughts and prayers were with the people of Britain. PM Prayut sent a message to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson praising Prince Philip’s “exceptional leadership”.

“On behalf of the Royal Thai Government and the people of Thailand, I wish to extend to Your Right Honourable and the British people our deepest condolences and sympathy for this irreparable loss. We join the British people in mourning the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and prayers are with the British people in this time of sadness”

Prince Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, died Friday at the age of 99 after recently being released from King Edward VII Hospital recovering from a February surgery for a heart condition. He was the longest-serving consort in British history. The Duke of Edinburgh had visited Thailand twice, escorting the Queen for state visits with King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1972 and 1996.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World & Thai Examiner

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World

Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip

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Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | Thaiger

Prince Philip, the husband and consort to Queen Elizabeth II, has died at the age of 99. The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving consort in the history of the United Kingdom, retiring in 2017 after more than 20,000 public engagements. Born on the Greek island of Corfu, Philip had 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren with the Queen. Buckingham Palace released a statement mourning the loss.

Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921 on the island of Corfu, Greece. He married Princess Elizabeth on November 20, 1947.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | News by Thaiger

Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | News by Thaiger

 

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