Court Rules Against Challenge to Indonesia Election Result

Barbed wires are seen outside Indonesia's constitutional court during the hearing on the opposition's challenge of April's presidential election result in Jakarta Indonesia

His lawyers sought to overturn the official results that declared Widodo the victor with 55.5 percent of votes, against Subianto's 44.5 percent.

However, according to the results of recapitulation carried out in stages at the polling station, sub-district, district, provincial and national levels by the General Elections Commission (KPU), Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin gained 85,607,362 votes, while Prabowo-Sandiaga totaled 68,650,239 votes, he said.

The court, which also questioned the quality of the evidence and the credibility of witnesses, said voter-fraud claims were the responsibility of Indonesia's elections supervisory agency and beyond its remit.

Widodo said Indonesians should reunite after a divisive election campaign.

At least nine people were killed and 900 injured in two nights of the violence in Jakarta last month, with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets and protesters charging them with rocks, sticks and firecrackers.

Prabowo's legal team had called on the Constitutional Court to have the result of the April 17 election annulled, citing alleged voter fraud and abuse of power.

Earlier, thousands of Prabowo's supporters held peaceful protests near the court as judges read a 6,000-page ruling over almost nine hours. A retired special forces general with links to Mr Prabowo was also accused of masterminding a plot to assassinate top state officials.

On Thursday night, Prabowo appeared before the cameras to say he would respect the court's decision.

With a group backing Prabowo, as Subianto is commonly known, pledging to gather 100,000 people for a rally on Thursday, authorities deployed 47,000 security personnel around the court, the president's palace, parliament and the election commission's offices. The election and the court proceedings had been transparent, he said, calling for unity.

Prabowo and his running mate Sandiaga Uno have urged their supporters to stay off the streets and "watch the verdict at home on television instead", said Andre Rosiade, a campaign spokesman.

The MK ruling reinstates presidential poll results initially announced by the General Election Commission (KPU) that put President Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin as the victor of presidential election.

"Let there be no more friction, because we are all one Indonesia", said Ma'ruf, former chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

Jokowi won in provinces where non-Muslims are the majority, such as mainly Hindu Bali and predominantly Christian East Nusa Tenggara, while Prabowo dominated in religiously conservative regions, including Aceh province where Islamic law is enforced.

Minutes after the ruling, Subianto said he had "respect" for it, reducing the risk of more violent protests but also raising the possibility of his party joining Jokowi's government and leaving the world's third-largest democracy without a significant parliamentary opposition.



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