Losing Indonesian presidential candidate Ganjar calls for new election

By Thomson Reuters Mar 23, 2024 | 7:58 AM

JAKARTA (Reuters) – The legal team of losing Indonesia presidential candidate Ganjar Pranowo filed a complaint at the country’s constitutional court on Saturday, calling for a fresh election and disqualification of the winning team of defence minister Prabowo Subianto.

Ganjar, a former Central Java governor supported by the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), received 16% of the votes in last month’s election, behind defence minister Prabowo, who won almost 60% of the votes, and former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan, who received 25%, an official tally showed.

Prabowo is slated to be inaugurated this October.

In a statement Todung Mulya Lubis, a lawyer with Ganjar’s legal team, said Prabowo’s disqualification was being called for on the grounds that his registration had violated legal and ethical provisions and that therefore the election should be re-run.

Todung said the election was tainted with nepotism that resulted in “a coordinated abuse of power”, he told reporters after filing the case at the constitutional court.

A decision last year by the constitutional court to change eligibility rules allowed Gibran Rakabuming Raka, son of outgoing president Joko Widodo (known locally as Jokowi), to become Prabowo’s running-mate. Jokowi’s brother-in-law was chief justice at the time of the ruling.

The legal team of the other losing candidate, Anies Baswedan, also filed a case, calling on Thursday for the court to order an election re-run that excludes Gibran, alleging his last-minute inclusion unfairly swayed the vote.

Ganjar’s team also complained of a “politicisation of social aid”, without elaborating, and have alleged abuse of the election commission’s IT system.

Prabowo swept to victory with the help of young voters and his promise of continuity. Yusril Mahendra, a lawyer for his campaign, said the team has more than 30 lawyers ready to face any legal challenges.

(Reporting by Bernadette Christina; Editing by David Holmes)