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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid