Indonesia court rejects presidential election challenges

Indonesia court rejects presidential election challenges

/ 05:54 PM April 22, 2024

Prabowo Subianto

Supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto sing and dance during a rally near the Constitutional Court in Jakarta on April 19, 2024. Failed Indonesian presidential candidate Anies Baswedan challenged Prabowo Subianto’s decisive victory at the Constitutional Court on March 21, alleging rules were unfairly changed to allow the outgoing leader’s son to run as his vice president. AFP

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s constitutional court on Monday rejected challenges to the country’s presidential vote won by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, after his main rivals alleged rules were unfairly changed to allow the outgoing leader’s son to run as his vice president.

Prabowo, 72, was confirmed in February as the next leader of the world’s third-biggest democracy, beating former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan and a third rival with 58.6 percent of the vote.


The president-elect’s campaign was mired in allegations that outgoing leader Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, had interfered in a bid to boost Prabowo’s campaign.


READ: Indonesia’s president-elect Prabowo urges unity after resounding victory

He was accused of engineering rule changes that allowed his eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka to run for vice president.

Anies — who received 24.9 percent of the vote — refused to concede after official results were announced, claiming the state had intervened to help Prabowo win and calling for a re-run.

He claimed the state had intervened to engineer Prabowo’s win, including social aid donations to sway voters.

But the court shot down his complaint, arguing that nepotism or state intervention had not been proven.

“The court rejected the exception (filed by Anies) in its entirety. Rejected the appeal in its entirety,” said chief justice Suhartoyo, who goes by one name.


Ganjar Pranowo — who finished in third place with about 16 percent — also refused to concede and moved to challenge the result. The court also rejected his objection later on Monday.

READ: Indonesia’s Prabowo awarded four-star general military rank

Jokowi was criticized after his brother-in-law, then-chief justice Anwar Usman, issued an October ruling lowering the age requirements for presidential and vice presidential candidates that allowed 36-year-old Gibran to run with Prabowo.

The requirements were lowered to allow candidates under 40 to run if they had been elected to a political position. Gibran is the mayor of Java’s Surakarta city.

Gibran joining Prabowo’s team strapped an election rocket to the campaign, with the defence minister’s poll numbers soaring in the following months.

Prabowo was therefore widely predicted to win the presidency on his third attempt after losing in 2014 and 2019.

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He has dismissed his rivals’ claims as baseless, and is due to take over in October after a transition period.

TAGS: Elections, Indonesia, Politics, Prabowo Subianto

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