JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia’s National Police will deploy more than 1,400 personnel to secure the Constitutional Court on Wednesday, Aug. 6, as the court holds a preliminary hearing for the legal challenge filed by Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa against the presidential election results.
National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Ronny F. Sompie said 1,441 police personnel would be deployed in 3 groups: The first ring will secure the courtroom, the second will surround the lobby, and the third will guard the courtyard of the building located in Central Jakarta.
Security escorts will also be provided for court judges. As of Tuesday afternoon, Sompie said the situation was still good.
M Taufik, a politician from Gerindra, Prabowo’s party, said as many as 30,000 party members, sympathizers and supporters were expected to gather at the courthouse. Historically, projections such as these often fail to materialize.
“To the people of Indonesia, we would like to apologize if you will be disturbed by our activities tomorrow,” he said according to Kompas.com. He asked people to avoid the area, which is just a few kilometers away from Jakarta’s central business district.
The General Elections Commission (KPU) on July 22 declared Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and former Vice President Jusuf Kalla the winners of the highly divisive July 9 presidential election with 53.15% of the vote over 46.85% for Prabowo and Hatta. This translates to a lead of more than 8.4 million votes.
Prabowo’s camp, however, rejected the results, claiming massive, structural, and systemic fraud. On July 25, they filed a lawsuit challenging the results and alleging that as many as 21 million votes could be in dispute following irregularities in 52,000 polling centers.
However, media and various websites were quick to point out problems in the legal document, such as typographical errors, inconsistent figures on how many votes are in dispute, handwritten notes, and unsubstantiated allegations. (READ: Public scrutiny shows problems in Prabowo’s legal challenge)
The head of the legal team, Mahendradatta, said they were grateful for the criticisms. “In addition to the input from the panel of judges, we also welcome the criticism from the public regarding the errors in the lawsuit. These criticisms helped us in improving the lawsuit papers,” he said in a statement sent to Rappler.
The secretary of the Prabowo-Hatta winning team, Fadli Zon, also said they were ready with all the evidence to be brought before the court. Their lawyers have previously said they would submit 52,000 C1 forms – or vote tabulation sheets – to the court as evidence, as well as with video footage taken by volunteers showing electoral fraud.
The head of the Constitutional Court, Hamdan Zoelva, said Wednesday’s preliminary hearing will involve receiving the materials from Prabowo’s lawyers and the judges delivering advice on what to revise, if needed.
“Principally, there is still a room for the lawyers to revise,” said Hamdan, who will lead a full bench of 9 judges. The court is expected to issue a verdict on August 21 that cannot be appealed.
He reiterated the court’s commitment to work independently and impartially. “The verdict will be based only on evidence and facts disclosed by the parties during the proceedings and will not be influenced by pressure from any party, the media, or demonstrators,” he said.
The court was once the country’s most-respected judicial institution. However, its reputation was damaged when its former chief, Akil Mochtar, was jailed for accepting bribes to fix local election disputes. Analysts say it would now be pressured to restore its credibility. – Rappler.com
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