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Takeaways from Prabowo's responses to legal motion contesting his election win

Jakarta Globe - April 16, 2024

Yustinus Paat & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The legal team representing President-elect Prabowo Subianto on Tuesday submitted their responses to accusations of election fraud filed by rival candidates challenging his election victory.

This submission was mandated by the Constitutional Court following several weeks of hearings and witness cross-examinations, with a verdict expected next week. The plaintiffs, defeated presidential candidates Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo, are also required to present their closing arguments.

Celebrity lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea, a member of Prabowo's legal team, outlined the counter-arguments, which are divided into four main topics.

Firstly, they aim to rebut the allegation that the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo implicitly assisted Prabowo by increasing the distribution of social aid before the Feb. 14 election.

"Social aids are mandated by law, not by President Jokowi," Hotman said, citing testimony from four ministers in court. He noted the plaintiffs' failure to produce any witnesses confirming that votes were exchanged for social aid.

The second part addresses the claim that the candidacy of Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Prabowo's running mate, is unlawful.

The 37-year-old Gibran, who is the eldest son of President Jokowi, was initially ineligible to contest because the election law requires a candidate to be at least 40 years old.

The Constitutional Court amended the law by making exceptions for candidates serving in elected public offices. Gibran, the elected mayor of Solo, became eligible after the ruling was issued last October.

However, Anies and Ganjar questioned Gibran's legality as a candidate because the General Election Commission (KPU) didn't adjust its requirements to the court ruling when it accepted Gibran's candidacy later that month.

Prabowo's legal team argued that the Constitutional Court ruling is final and binding and that it supersedes any regulations by the KPU, making Gibran's candidacy legitimate.

Thirdly, the team addresses complaints about discrepancies in vote tallies published on the KPU website. Hotman clarified that while the online tally, called Sirekap, provides information, the final and official results are based on manual counts.

Lastly, the response addresses allegations that the Jokowi administration instructed interim governors, mayors, and regents – who were appointed to stand in for elected leaders who have expired their terms – to organize voters for Prabowo.

Hotman said the plaintiffs failed to prove such claims in court.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/takeaways-from-prabowos-responses-to-legal-motion-contesting-his-election-wi