Prabowo Subianto Coalition Accepts Indonesia’s Constitutional Court Verdict
It took almost six hours for the Constitutional Court of Indonesia (Mahkamah Konstitusi) on Thursday (21/08) to read out 300 pages of a lengthy 4,392-page verdict in the case filed by defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, who claimed that the result of Indonesia’s July 2014 presidential election was invalid due to widespread violations and fraud that allegedly occurred during the voting and counting processes. During the read out it became increasingly clear that the court would reject Subianto’s claims due to a lack of evidence.
The nine-judge court rejected all charges filed by Subianto’s lawyers. The verdict of the Constitutional Court is final and legally binding and thus makes it definite that Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi), incumbent Governor of Jakarta and the clear market favourite due to his reform-mindedness, will become the seventh president of Indonesia in October 2014.
Subianto and his running mate Hatta Rajasa left a reaction on the court’s verdict to the spokesman (Tantowi Yahya) of the Merah-Putih coalition, the coalition of political parties that support Subianto. This coalition consists of Gerindra, PAN, PKS, PPP, Golkar, and PBB and represent over half of Indonesian parliament (DPR) based on the result of Indonesia’s April legislative election (the term merah-putih, meaning red-white, refers to the Indonesian flag). However, it is unclear whether this coalition will stay intact or that some parties will shift their support to the Jokowi coalition now that the final curtain has dropped for Subianto. During a press conference shortly after the verdict, the Merah-Putih coalition acknowledged the verdict but also expressed its disappointment that the court refrained to uphold justice for the sake of Indonesia and promised to keep fighting for the Indonesian people through institutions within the political system (DPR and MPR), making sure that the checks-and-balances system works in order to monitor the next government.
According to the court there occurred no illegitimate acts regarding the list of people eligible to vote in the presidential election that was held on 9 July 2014. One of the main claims of Subianto’s camp was that this list had been modified to secure a win for Jokowi. The court replied that if the Subianto camp had complaints about this eligible voter list then they should have come forward in the period the General Elections Commission (KPU) had set out for that purpose.
There were some clashes between Subianto supporters and the Indonesian police force around the Constitutional Court building in Central Jakarta on Thursday, resulting in 46 injured people. The police fired tear gas and used water cannons to keep the supporters at a safe distance from the building. It is estimated that a couple of thousand Subianto supporters gathered in Central Jakarta. Four people were arrested for inciting the crowd.
After the verdict was read out, soon-to-be president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Indonesia’s next vice-president Jusuf Kalla announced that they would immediately start to prepare the next cabinet to guide the nation between October 2014 and 2019. The pair will also meet current cabinet members to discuss present issues that are faced by Indonesia.