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

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs