Controversial former army general Prabowo Subianto, who was defeated in Indonesia's 2014 presidential election, is expected to challenge the election result in the Constitutional Court, claiming that the election has been influenced by massive vote fraud. Yesterday (22/07), prior to the official release of the election result by the General Elections Commission (KPU), Subianto already withdrew from the recapitulation process. Rival Joko Widodo (Jokowi) won the election securing 53.15 percent of the votes.
During a press conference, Tantowi Yahya, spokesman for the campaign team of Subianto, emphasized that on the previous day the defeated candidate had not withdrawn from the election process, but only from the recapitulation process. This is important because if Subianto would have withdrawn from the election process altogether, he would not have been able to appeal to the Constitutional Court. The team now has to file an appeal within three days after the KPU’s final outcome (on Tuesday 22 July 2014), otherwise the election result becomes binding.
The Subianto team claims that there have been irregularities at about 50,000 polling stations (equivalent to about 21 million votes).
Subianto’s appeal to the Constitutional Court implies a return of political uncertainties in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Although he has no strong case, the judicial system of Indonesia is not free from corruption or political influence. However, Steven Satya Yudha, analyst at Ashmore Asset Management Indonesia, expects that a Jokowi win will prevail for the following reasons:
• Public scrutiny will be intense
• The Court may want to redeem itself after the recent conviction of former Chief Justice Akil Mochtar
• The 6 percent margin between Jokowi and Subianto is too big, even if recounts are ordered in several places
The verdict of the Constitutional Court is final and there is no further way (at least not a constitutional or democratic one) to appeal after this verdict.
As a result of the looming appeal, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia lost a significant part of its earlier gain during Wednesday’s trading day. At 15:15 pm local Jakarta time, the index was up 0.19 percent. In the morning, it had risen over 1 percent. The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate maintained its strong performance. By the same time, it had appreciated 0.78 percent to IDR 11,516 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index.