Indonesian Court Rejects Anies Baswedan's Challenge to Presidential Election Results

Indonesia's Constitutional Court rejects challenge to 2024 election results, paving the way for Prabowo's presidency despite allegations of unfair advantage. The ruling resolves uncertainty over the election's legitimacy in the world's third-largest democracy.

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Indonesian Court Rejects Anies Baswedan's Challenge to Presidential Election Results

Indonesian Court Rejects Anies Baswedan's Challenge to Presidential Election Results

The Constitutional Court in Indonesia has rejected in full a challenge from losing presidential candidate Anies Baswedan, who sought to overturn the results of the February 2024 election and disqualify the winner, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, and his running mate Gibran Rakabuming Raka. In a hearing on Monday, the court ruled that there was no evidence of systematic fraud or state interference to sway the election in favor of Prabowo, who won with 58% of the vote.

Anies and fellow candidate Ganjar Pranowo had alleged that the widespread distribution of social aid, including handouts of rice, cash, and fertilizer by the government of outgoing President Joko Widodo, had given an unfair advantage to Prabowo. They also questioned the legality of Gibran's candidacy, as he is Widodo's son and was allowed to run despite being under the usual minimum age requirement of 40. However, the court dismissed these allegations, stating that the plaintiffs' petitions had no legal basis.

Five out of eight justices ruled that the plaintiffs only presented media clippings and TV news clips as evidence but failed to deliver actual proof and competent witnesses to back up their claims of election fraud and nepotism. The court denied the plaintiffs' requests to annul the election results, order a re-vote, and disqualify Prabowo and Gibran.

Although the court's ruling was not unanimous, with three justices issuing dissenting opinions arguing that a re-vote should be held in certain electoral districts, the court's decisions are final and binding under Indonesian law. Representatives of both Anies and Ganjar said they would respect the ruling.

Why this matters: The court's decision resolves uncertainty over the legitimacy of the election outcome in the world's third-largest democracy. It paves the way for Prabowo to take office in October, replacing the term-limited Widodo. However, Anies has warned that the dispute reflects a broader democratic backslide in Indonesia, saying the country is at risk of returning to its authoritarian past.

In a statement, Anies urged his supporters to express their aspirations peacefully and legally while respecting the court's verdict. "We have presented our case and put forth our best effort," he said. "Although the ruling was not in our favor, we will continue to safeguard our democracy through other avenues, as this is not the end." Prabowo's team welcomed the court's decision, calling it a win for the democratic process. The General Election Commission, which was the defendant in the dispute case, said it would immediately begin preparations for the presidential inauguration in October.

Key Takeaways

  • Indonesia's Constitutional Court rejected challenge to 2024 election results.
  • Prabowo Subianto won the election with 58% of the vote, defeating Anies Baswedan.
  • Court dismissed allegations of election fraud and nepotism, citing lack of evidence.
  • The ruling paves way for Prabowo's inauguration in October, replacing Joko Widodo.
  • Anies vowed to continue safeguarding democracy through other avenues.