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Prabowo camp cites 'procedural error' in legal challenge by rival candidates

Jakarta Globe - April 16, 2024

Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – President-elect Prabowo Subianto's legal team expressed confidence on Tuesday that the motion challenging the presidential election result will be dismissed by the court due to "a procedural error."

Prabowo was officially declared the winner of the Feb. 14 presidential election last month with 58.58 percent of the vote. However, his rivals, Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo, contested the result, alleging widespread voter fraud.

The plaintiffs also claimed that Prabowo's appointment of the son of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo as his running mate indicates a lack of impartiality in the current government, giving him an unfair advantage in the election.

Constitutional Court justices are set to deliver a verdict next week following a series of hearings and witness cross-examinations.

Lawyer Otto Hasibuan said he believes that the court will swiftly reject the motion because it lacks the authority to try suspected election fraud.

"Election fraud falls under the jurisdiction of the Bawaslu [Election Oversight Body], which is tasked with investigating any suspected fraud. This means the motion contains a procedural error," Otto, a key member of Prabowo's legal team, explained.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs have failed to convincingly prove accusations of fraud, such as the suspected involvement of government officials in influencing voters for Prabowo or intensified government social aids to sway voters in his favor, the lawyer added.

Otto emphasized that the Constitutional Court's primary responsibility is to address alleged discrepancies in vote tallies, which neither of the plaintiffs challenged.

Prabowo's legal team submitted their conclusion of the hearings at the Constitutional Court on Tuesday, a requirement also applicable to the plaintiffs before the panel delivers its verdict.

The motion targets the General Election Commission (KPU) as the defendant and demands a redo of the election. Prabowo voluntarily takes part in the legal proceedings as "the party of interest".

Celebrity lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea dismissed the motion as a bluff, portraying the plaintiffs' attempt to link government social aids with voter fraud as desperate.

"Social aids are mandated by law, not by President Jokowi. Four ministers have testified in this court, yet the plaintiffs have failed to present a single witness confirming that votes were cast in return for social aids," Hotman said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/prabowo-camp-cites-procedural-error-in-legal-challenge-by-rival-candidate