The security status in Jakarta has been raised one day ahead of the ruling of Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) on Thursday (21/08) as the Jakarta administration anticipates public protests. The Constitutional Court will decide on defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto’s claims that the election result of Indonesia’s July presidential election was influenced by massive fraud and violations (in both the voting and counting process). According to the official result Joko Widodo won with 53.15 percent of the votes.
Not only is Subianto a highly controversial figure in Indonesia because of his alleged human rights violations as army general in East Timor in the 1980s and Jakarta in the late 1990s as well as his closeness to former president Suharto (who led a highly corrupted authoritarian system between 1966 and 1998), being the latter’s son-in-law, but also because Subianto challenged the official presidential result of the General Elections Commission (KPU) seemingly without having strong evidence.
Although most analysts believe that the evidence is too little to result in a positive outcome for Subianto (a positive outcome could mean re-voting in several provinces), it needs to be remembered that Indonesia’s judicial system is not free from corruption. However, considering that this court case is closely monitored by media, experts and the people, a flawed ruling is not likely.
The ruling on Thursday, which is the final ruling in the election dispute, can influence the stock and financial markets in Indonesia if the decision is not likened by market participants. In case the court sees no violations during the voting and counting process then Indonesian markets are expected to improve as it paves the way to the presidential seat for market favourite Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi). A negative ruling for Subianto is not expected to result in large-scale public disorder as the initial election result announcement in July was not accompanied by any significant disorder too. However, if the court orders large-scale re-voting (which may jeopardize Jokowi’s win) then markets are expected to plunge. Moreover, risks of public disorder (conducted by angry Jokowi supporters) will increase.