Indonesia’s constitutional court yesterday rejected a bid to overturn President Joko Widodo’s re-election victory and dismissed his defeated challenger’s claims of widespread voter fraud as groundless.
The court threw out the case lodged by ex-general Prabowo Subianto, saying he did not prove he lost the April vote because of widespread cheating and voter fraud -- allegations that sparked deadly rioting in the capital of the world’s third-biggest democracy.
“The plaintiff’s case is legally groundless,” said chief Justice Anwar Usman. “We reject (his) demand in its entirety.”
The ruling paves the way for Widodo and vice-presidential running mate Ma’ruf Amin to be inaugurated later this year.
“Thank you to the Constutional Court which has settled the election dispute openly and transparently,” the 58-year-old Widodo said in a televised address.
“I’m calling on all Indonesians to come together to develop our nation.”
The court, which questioned the quality of the evidence and credibility of witnesses, said voter-fraud claims were the responsibility of Indonesia’s elections supervisory agency and beyond its jurisdiction.
Subianto claimed the vote was plagued by “systematic, structured and massive” electoral fraud that cost him victory.
His lawyers sought to overturn the official results that declared Widodo the winner with 55.5 percent of votes, against Subianto’s 44.5 percent.