Indonesia’s Constitutional Court began hearing a legal challenge Wednesday lodged by presidential contender Prabowo Subianto to overturn the results of last month’s election, won by Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo. The former army general lost the tightly contested two-man race by 8.4 million votes, the country’s election commission said July 22, in an official count two weeks after more than 133 million ballots were cast. Mr. Widodo accumulated 53.15% of the votes, a gap that legal and political experts have said is all but unbridgeable in Mr. Subianto’s attempt to challenge the results on the basis of what he has said is wide-scale fraud and irregularities. Chief among Mr. Subianto’s claims is the contention that ballots exceeded the number of eligible voters at more than 50,000 of the sprawling country’s 479,000 polling stations.
In the hearing Wednesday, Mr. Subianto’s lawyers claimed that the election committee hadn’t conducted the election “justly and fairly,” and if it had, Mr. Subianto would have emerged with 67.14 million votes, or 50.25%. Under the count issued last month, he garnered 62.58 million, or 46.85%.
Mr. Subianto and his running mate, former Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa, attended the tightly guarded hearing as hundreds of their supporters rallied outside. Security officials said that more than 1,000 police officers were deployed at the court and surrounding areas.
Mr. Subianto’s supporters also demonstrated outside the legislature, where parties supporting him have vowed to hold an inquiry into the conduct of the election and the commission. No violence was reported.