The Court dismissed his appeal against election results as "baseless". The defeated candidate says he is disappointed. He reiterates his loyalty to the constitution but is considering other legal avenues. Re-elected, his rival Widodo says he will be the president of “all Indonesians".
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Prabowo Subianto has refused to concede defeat even though the Constitutional Court of Indonesia (Mahkamah Konstitusi) rejected as legally "baseless" his appeal against the outcome.
The politician said the ruling by the nine-judge panel was "disappointing", but reiterated his loyalty to the Constitution. He also announced that he will consider any other option to pursue his legal battle.
The re-elected president, Joko Widodo, for his part, appealed to national unity, calling on the supporters of both camps to respect the Court’s “final ruling”.
On 24 May, the defeated candidate filed a lawsuit demanding the cancellation of the election result that saw the victory of President Widodo deputy, and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin. Prabowo complained of "structured, systematic and massive” fraud in favour of his rival.
In his appeal, Prabowo claimed that the president had used the government bureaucracy, state-owned enterprises and other institutions in the campaign for his re-election.
The right-wing Islamist candidate also accused Widodo of using public funds and his administration's programmes to influence the vote.
Shortly after the Court ruling was made public, Prabowo held a press conference at his South Jakarta residence. His running mate Sandiaga Uno stood next to him.
The Court’s “decision is disappointing for us and our supporters,” he said, “but as agreed, we are bound by and loyal to the path of constitution”.
“We will soon consult with our legal team and ask their opinion as to whether or not there is still another legal opportunity to lodge a complaint along with our supporting political parties,” he added.
Many Indonesians have reacted negatively to Prabowo’s statement, which reflects his personal lust for power, said editorial writer Rudi S. Kamri.
Meanwhile, President Widodo and Vice President Ma’aruf Amin were preparing to leave for Osaka (Japan) for the G20 summit. The president met reporters at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in East Jakarta.
“I believe in the magnanimity and statesmanship of my best friends, Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno,” he said.
“They both have the same vision of developing Indonesia in the future, better, more advanced, more just, prosperous,” he added.
The president promised that he and Ma'aruf will be able to represent "all Indonesians, without exception. There are no more candidates 01 and 02,” he said, “only the unity of Indonesia".