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Indonesia elections: Opposition candidate contests result

March 21, 2024

Presidential candidate Anies Baswedan is seeking a new vote following Prabowo Subianto's confirmation as the new leader of Indonesia.

Indonesien | Wahlen zum Präsidenten 2024
Image: Harith Saqeef/ZUMA/picture alliance

An unsuccessful presidential candidate filed a complaint at the Constitutional Court on Thursday, alleging rules were unfairly changed, as well as fraud at the polls.

Former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan, who received nearly 41 million votes (24.9% of the total), is hoping for a revote after saying rules were amended to allow the outgoing leader's son to run as Prabowo Subianto's vice president.

The Election Commission released the final results late on Wednesday, following the February 14 vote, with former defense minister Prabowo claiming victory after receiving more than 96 million votes (58.6%).

A lawyer for the third candidate, former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo, who received 27 million votes (16.5%) said they would also file a complaint.

What is the main accusation?

Baswedan's lawyers have highlighted how outgoing President Joko Widodo's son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, was allowed to run for vice president with Subianto.

The Constitutional Court made an exception to the minimum age requirement of 40 for candidates. Raka is only 37.

What Indonesians make of Prabowo Subianto's election win

"If our argument is accepted by the court's justices, we hope that a revote will be held without the problematic vice presidential candidate participating," Ari Yusuf Amir, the head of Baswedan's legal team said. "Let us fight honestly, fairly and freely."

"We also asked the Constitutional Court to order the president to stop meddling in the next process of the election," Amir added to AFP.

On Wednesday evening Baswedan refused to concede after the results were announced, condemning Prabowo's route to victory.

"Leadership that was born out of a process tainted by cheating and violations will result in a regime that will produce policies that are full of unfairness, and we don't want this to happen," he said in a statement.

When will the appeal be heard?

Constitutional Court spokesperson Fajar Laksono Suroso said the case would be heard by April 22 and that the verdict would come on May 7, with no possibility for the ruling to be appealed. 

Anwar Usman, who was the court's chief justice when the exception to allow Raka to run as vice president was made, is Widodo's brother-in-law.

An ethics panel later forced Usman to resign for failing to recuse himself and for making last-minute changes to the candidacy requirements. However, it allowed him to remain on the court as long as he no longer participated in election-related cases. The case is now to be decided by eight justices instead of the full nine-member court.

Widodo has faced criticism for openly supporting Subianto, with Indonesian presidents expected to remain neutral in elections to replace them.

km/rc (AP/AFP)