Indonesia's Prabowo challenges election result at Constitutional Court

JAKARTA Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:36am EDT

Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto delivers a statement to the media in Jakarta July 22, 2014. REUTERS/Jefri Tarigan

Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto delivers a statement to the media in Jakarta July 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jefri Tarigan

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JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's losing candidate in this month's presidential election challenged the official result in the Constitutional Court on Friday.

Ex-general Prabowo Subianto filed the challenge after the Elections Commission this week announced Joko "Jokowi" Widodo as the next president of Southeast Asia's largest economy.

"We have officially registered a request to challenge the KPU (Elections Commission) result and their election process," the head of his 95-strong legal team, Mehendradatta, told reporters at the court.

He said the challenge was just one of the avenues open to Prabowo: "So this is not the end of the road for us."

The court has the final say on any election disputes. It is not was immediately clear what other legal challenges he could pursue.

Prabowo's legal team says that, according to their count, Prabowo won the election by about 1 million votes, alleging violations in some 52,000 polling stations.

That is in contrast to a number of other unofficial counts which concur with the Elections Commission announcement that Widodo won the July 9 election by nearly 8.5 million votes, 53.15 percent, the closest race in the country's history. It has also been praised by independent observers as one of Indonesia's most transparent and well organized polls.

Most analysts say the challenge will not change the outcome and that it may be more a face saving gesture.

However, the dispute has raised concerns it might trigger violence though so far there have been no signs of any unrest.

The Constitutional Court is expected to return a verdict by Aug. 21. That decision cannot be appealed. [ID:nL4N0PZ2PK]

(Reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Jonathan Thatcher and Alison Williams)

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