Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 497,668 confirmed infections, 15,884 deaths (23 November 2020)
23 November 2020 (closed)
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At 14:00 pm local Jakarta time zone, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) is expected to announce its decision on Prabowo Subianto’s election result challenge. The defeated presidential candidate filed a court case claiming that massive fraud and violations took place amid the voting and counting processes in the context of Indonesia’s July 2014 presidential election, won by Joko Widodo (securing 53.15 percent of the votes). Although the court’s decision is final and legally binding, Subianto not expected to surrender yet.
According to Subianto, massive fraud is what blocks him from becoming Indonesia’s next president and thus the former army general and leader of the Gerindra party targets for re-voting in thousands of polling stations. Most analysts and business players, however, expect that the court will not rule in favour of controversial Subianto as his team lacks strong evidence that confirm large-scale violations during the election last July.
However, Subianto is not expected to respect the verdict of the Constitutional Court if it rules not according to his liking. The Subianto team already stated that it still sees other ways to combat the ‘injustice that has been done’. For example, a special committee (pansus) can be established in Indonesia’s parliament (DPR) as Subianto can rely on the support of over half of representatives in the DPR (the Subianto-Rajasa pair is supported by a political party coalition that consists of Gerinda, PAN, PPP, PKS and Golkar). This committee can question officials of the General Elections Commission (KPU) as well as Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu). However, these ‘pansus-hearings’ cannot change the outcome of the KPU’s official election result that declared Widodo winner of the election. Furthermore, the Subianto team (which also includes running mate Hatta Rajasa) also challenged the election outcome at the Election Organizers Ethics Council (DKPP) and is planning to report the KPU to the State Administrative Court (PTUN) for alleged administrative violations.
Subianto’s reluctance to accept a defeat makes him even more controversial than he already was. The former army general (and former son-in-law to Suharto who headed a highly corrupted and authoritarian regime from the mid ‘60s to 1998) has a chequered human rights record.
There is a risk of public disorder conducted by Subianto supporters if the court indeed does not rule in his favour. Therefore, police and army units have been on standby since a couple of days, particularly around the Constitutional Court building. However, when the KPU announced the official election result on 22 July 2014, which was also not in favour of Subianto, no significant riots emerged and therefore a similar scenario may happen today as current political tensions are less heated compared to last month.
If the court does not order re-voting, then Indonesian stocks and rupiah are expected to gain as the market supports reform-minded Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi). Ahead of the court ruling, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index) dropped 0.65 percent in the first trading session. Meanwhile, the rupiah had depreciated 0.26 percent to IDR 11,735 by 12:35 pm local Jakarta time according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. These are signs that the market is concerned ahead of the court's ruling.