Prabowo files challenge to election result

July 26, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

JAKARTA: The ex-general who lost Indonesia’s presidential election to Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo mounted a legal challenge to the result yesterday, alleging widespread fraud and irregularities in vote counting.

Prabowo Subianto claims that massive fraud tipped the scales in Widodo’s favour, but his challenge is directed at the election commission, in part for failing to investigate allegations of cheating, according to a spokesman.

“We are now taking the legal path, the constitutional path,” Prabowo told hundreds of supporters outside the court. “We have almost one million documents and 52,000 witnesses.”

Prabowo has refused to concede defeat despite the commission’s declaration on Tuesday that Widodo won with 53 percent of the vote in the world’s third-biggest democracy.

He is seeking a repeal of the result and declaration of Widodo as president, Prabowo’s coalition spokesman Tantowi Yahya told local television.

Both candidates claimed victory on the election day, leaving Indonesians waiting two weeks for the official vote count to confirm a winner.

The challenge means an even longer drawn-out process, with court officials saying the decision will be delivered by August 21.

Prabowo’s supporters held banners demanding a re-vote and vowing “revolution” if his challenge fails.