Final & The country’s highest court is widely expected to reject Prabowo Subianto’s bid for a revote, which raises concern of possible rioting by his supporters Legally Binding:
Jakarta. With the Constitutional Court widely expected to rule in favor of President-elect Joko Widodo in the election dispute today, losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto is likely to reject the verdict.
“Prabowo’s lawsuit against the [official] presidential election result is weak,” said Indria Samego, a political analyst with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). “The court will most likely refuse to grant his request for a revote.”
A similar statement came from Yunarto Wijaya, the executive director of political think tank Charta Politik.
“There’s an assumption that Prabowo will reject the verdict [unless he wins],” he told the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday.
The rejection, Yunarto said, would likely be channeled through the establishment of a special committee (pansus) in the House of Representatives.
Lawmakers from political parties in Prabowo’s camp said last month they would summon and grill officials of the General Elections Commission (KPU) and Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) concerning the election organization and the result through pansus hearings.
“This battle will likely be brought by his coalition with the establishment of pansus in the legislature; that’s the only way for them to maintain their political power,” Yunarto said.
He added, however, that the pansus was unlikely to change anything with regard to the electoral result, given that a verdict by the Constitutional Court is final and legally binding.
Concurrently, the camp of Prabowo-Hatta Rajasa have also disputed the election result at the Election Organizers Ethics Council (DKPP) and most recently, they said that they were planning to report the KPU to the State Administrative Court (PTUN) for alleged administrative violations.
Another LIPI political analyst, Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, has criticized Prabowo’s likely rejection of the Constitutional Court’s verdict.
“Will he refuse to accept the result once more? There’s a possibility. But if he really does, it’s not even funny anymore,” Ikrar said.
The political analyst, who has declared his support for the Joko-Kalla camp, called on Prabowo not to put his interests above the nation’s and to allow the democratic process to run smoothly and peacefully.
“Prabowo should just accept the court’s decision. Otherwise it will affect his political legitimacy. He will lose the nation’s respect,” Ikrar said. “In addition, if he continues to contest the Constitutional Court’s verdict, the people will question his statesmanship, because he should be prepared to accept either winning or losing.”
In their lawsuit, the Prabowo-Hatta camp demand that the court must reject the final KPU tally announced on July 22 — which showed that Jakarta Governor Joko and his running mate Jusuf Kalla were the winners of the July 9 presidential election.
The Prabowo camp has accused KPU officials of “systematic, structured and massive” electoral fraud in favor of Joko-Kalla, and demanded revotes in several provinces.
According to the Prabowo-Hatta camp’s version, they should have won the election with 50.25 percent of the votes.
The KPU tally puts Joko-Kalla in the lead with 53.15 percent of the votes.
But during the trial, KPU and Bawaslu officials, the legal team of Joko-Kalla, as well as justices of the court, have pointed to vague arguments and lack of convincing and relevant evidence throughout the lawsuit.
Expert witnesses brought by Prabowo-Hatta, including prominent constitutional law experts Yusril Izha Mahendra and Irman Putra Sidin, argued that the court should pay more attention to “substances” of the legal challenge rather than the details of individual tallies and figures in “problematic” regions.
“This is not a mere matter of disputes over figures. The substantial problem of the election actually lies in constitutional and legality aspects of the organization of the election,” Yusril, a former law minister and founder of the Crescent Star Party (PBB), who is a member of the Prabowo-Hatta coalition, said during a court hearing last week.
KPU expert witness Harjono, a former Constitutional Court justice, said scrutiny of figures was needed to prove the claims of massive and systematic fraud.
Prabowo’s likely dissatisfaction with the Constitutional Court verdict has also raised concerns over the possibility of rioting and violence — with party officials in the camp, including Prabowo himself, having continued to deliver fiery speeches seemingly aimed at undermining Joko’s assumption of the presidency in October.
KPU chairman Husni Kamil Manik last week reported Muhammad Taufik, a senior member of Prabowo’s Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), to police after Taufik called on Prabowo supporters, who staged a protest outside the Constitutional Court, to kidnap Husni.
Indria said if the court verdict went against Prabowo today, there was a strong possibility of rioting.
Ikrar also expressed his concern over the issue, citing a statement by one of Prabowo’s lawyers, Eggy Sudjana, who stated in a video uploaded to YouTube two weeks ago: “Probably there will be riots or other things, we’ll never know. But you cannot blame anyone if this happens. This issue is about people’s justice… God willing, I can propel the people’s power.”
In response, Ikrar asked, “now, what [does he] mean by people’s power? People’s power exists only [in a revolution or a coup] when the government fails to meet people’s aspirations.”
But he said it was unlikely that many Indonesians would support any demonstrations by Prabowo’s supporters.
Furthermore, Ikrar said, if the Constitutional Court granted Prabowo’s request for a revote, the number of participants in a new election would likely decline drastically.
“Last month, our people cast their votes. The result has come out and now we all continue with our lives,” he said.
Yunarto, meanwhile, said whatever the court verdict was, it wouldn’t have a major effect on public security.
“The 21st of August wouldn’t be the day of horror or riots whatsoever. Hopefully, it will all turn out well,” he said. “But if [riots] are really going to break out, we trust that the police would do their best to ensure security.”
Indria called on the police to take firm action against rioters, adding that “this country must win over the thugs.”
Central Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Hendro Prabowo earlier this week said that at least 4,000 police officers would be dispatched to secure the court during today’s hearing. He said police expected between 1,500 and 2,000 people to stage a protest outside the court during the reading of the verdict.
Indonesian Military (TNI) spokesman Maj. Gen. Fuad Basya, meanwhile, also said as many as 23,000 soldiers would be deployed across the country today to maintain security.
Additional reporting by Norman Harsono, Yustinus Paat & Yeremia Sukoyo