Defeated Indonesian presidential candidate challenges results
Posted on Jul 25 2014 | IANS
Jakarta, July 25 : Prabowo Subianto, the defeated candidate in Indonesia's closest ever presidential election, Friday filed a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court (MK) to challenge the official election results here.
The move is widely seen here as a bid to prolong the political uncertainty in the country.
Tantowi Yahya, spokesman for Prabowo's campaign team, said on a local TV channel that attorneys for the former general had already filed a lawsuit in MK and have appealed to the court to abort the results of the election, Xinhua reported.
The General Elections Commission, locally called KPU, declared Tuesday reform-minded Governor of the Indonesian capital, Joko Widodo, locally called Jokowi, the winner in the July 9 presidential election with 53.15 percent of the 133 million votes.
The 63-year-old Prabowo, who had earlier claimed victory shortly after the polls based on unofficial quick counts, dramatically withdrew from the vote-counting process hours before KPU's announcement, claiming massive, structural and systematic fraud in the election process.
Previously, Prabowo's lawyer disclosed that about 21 million votes from the 52,000 polling stations across the archipelago were in question.
Spokesman Tantowi said his team had sent part of the entire evidence to MK Friday and the rest would follow.
"Our evidence is very complete, very detailed," he said. "We are confident that the evidence could help approve our appeal."
However, Bambang Suryono, the president of the academic research organisation Nanyang ASEAN Foundation, told Xinhua that it was nearly impossible to swing the election results as Prabowo's rival Jokowi greatly led the poll by 8.4 million votes.
Bambang said though there were some minor irregularities, the election was generally fair and democratic.
"Prabowo's move is just a face-saving effort as the losing candidates did in the previous presidential elections," Bambang said.
The nine-judge panel of the Constitutional Court, which has been tainted by corruption, will decide whether to accept Prabowo' s appeal.
If it does, the judges would hear the case and must hand down a verdict before Aug 21. The court's decision is final and cannot be appealed.
The new president is expected to take office Oct 20.