News / Asia

Subianto to Challenge Widodo Victory in Indonesian Election

Indonesian President Joko Widodo talks to the media during his visit at a reservoir development project in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 22, 2014.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo talks to the media during his visit at a reservoir development project in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 22, 2014.
VOA News

Former army General Prabowo Subianto, who lost Indonesia's presidential election, said he would challenge the result at the country's Constitutional Court.

The move was announced by his spokesman on Wednesday, a day after the election commission named his rival, ex-Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, the winner of the July 9 vote.

Subianto said Widodo's campaign took part in large-scale vote-buying and other fraud and accused the election commission of not doing its duty in investigating the claims.

The court challenge could about a month to complete. Most analysts think it will prove unsuccessful.

Edward Aspinall, an expert in Indonesian politics at the Australian National University, told VOA it would be difficult for the court to overturn a six-point difference in the final results.

"I think the chances are pretty much close to zero.  And there would be no precedent in recent Indonesian electoral history of a Constitutional Court overturning a result to that extent,” Aspinall said.  He also suggested the fraud allegations, “from what we can see, don't seem to be particularly strong."

There have been no reports of violence, though thousands of police and military forces have been deployed in the case of unrest.

Aspinall said many groups affiliated with Subianto have shown a willingness to use violence in the past, but he doubted whether that will be the case this time.

"My sense is that the further we go with the process, the chances of that sort of thing begin to diminish, partly because the coalition that coalesced around Prabowo during the election campaign is really starting to disintegrate," Aspinall said.

President-elect urges cohesion

Speaking Tuesday after the official results were released, Widodo, the president-elect with 53 percent of the vote, said it was time for the country to come together after a hard-fought campaign.

“I am certain that the struggle to achieve Indonesia that is sovereign, independent and true to our character can only be achieved if we work together. And now it is the time to work together," Widodo said.

World leaders have already begun applauding Widodo on his victory.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement congratulating Widodo and saying Washington looks forward to working with the new Indonesian president.

The 53-year-old Widodo, also known by his nickname Jokowi, is seen by many as a reformer and a rare candidate without links to Indonesia's longtime dictator, Suharto, who was ousted in 1998 after 31 years. He died a decade later.

Subianto, a former son-in-law of Suharto, campaigned on a strong nationalist platform. 

Many were concerned he would steer the country in an authoritarian direction. During his time as an army general, he was accused of rights abuses, including overseeing the arrest of democracy activists.

Shaun Levine, a senior analyst for South East Asia at the Eurasia Group, said  Widodo's outsider status would help increase the field of candidates in future elections.

"For Joko Widodo to win the election by the margin that he did, in the sense that going forward that you will have more of an opportunity for political outsiders to join in the elections and become a member of parliament president, is very positive for Indonesia," Levine said.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country, with 250 million residents, and has Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

VOA's Bill Gallo contributed to this report, which was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs