Protests expected in Jakarta as Indonesia’s top court to rule on election appeal

The Constitutional Court of Indonesia has rejected claims by unsuccessful presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto that backers of incumbent President Joko

indonesia court election

Photo: Bagus Indahono/EPA

The Constitutional Court of Indonesia has rejected claims by unsuccessful presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto that backers of incumbent President Joko Widodo rigged the April 17 national election.

The verdict cannot be appealed. In anticipation of mass protests, 47,000 security personnel have been deployed across the capital of Jakarta. Following his loss, Subianto immediately rejected the results and pointed to irregularities in campaign funds, data entry errors and faulty voter lists.

The near-term political implication is increased confidence in the General Elections Commission, exemplified by Subianto’s acceptance of the ruling and commitment to constitutional procedure. However, there is high likelihood violence will escalate, as Islamist groups such as Alumni Presidium 212 and the Islamic Defenders Front have protested the Court’s ruling, claiming it was fixed. These groups argue that the incumbent president of the Muslim-majority country has not taken staunch actions to mitigate anti-Muslim policy and rhetoric.

Though Mr Widodo is now likely to be sworn in for his second five-year term in October, he will face increasing backlash from the aforementioned groups and many more, as over 100,000 Indonesians have taken to the streets already. It is expected that the moderate Widodo will shift his platform to please a growing conservative bloc.

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