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Indonesian court ruling clears path for Prabowos to become president

Indonesian court ruling clears path for Prabowos to become president


(Bloomberg) — Indonesia's Constitutional Court has ruled against legal challenges filed by Prabowo Subianto's rivals, paving the way for him to become the country's next president.

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In its ruling on Monday, the court rejected motions by presidential candidates Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo to overturn Prabowos' victory in the Feb. 14 election, saying they lacked a solid legal basis. The decision is final and binding, closing all other legal avenues to contest the election results.

The move removes the final hurdle the defense minister faces in succeeding President Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, in October, ending weeks of political uncertainty. This year's elections have been marked by controversy surrounding what are seen as attempts by Jokowi to retain his influence by supporting his son Gibran Rakabuming Raka to become Prabowos' running mate and now vice president-elect.

Anies and Ganjar had alleged electoral fraud and called for a repeat of the elections without Prabowo or Gibran, or both, being able to run. They also accused the government of interfering in election campaigns to ensure the victory of Prabowo, who is widely seen as Jokowi's preferred successor. Representatives of Prabowo and Jokowis denied the allegations.

In its judgment, the court said there was no intervention by Jokowi in the nomination of his eldest son as vice-presidential candidate. The judges were also not convinced by arguments presented by Anies' legal team that Jokowis' government disbursed social assistance to influence the election outcome in Prabowo's favor.

The decision will allow Prabowo to focus on his policies such as the free lunch program, as well as forming alliances between political parties and building a cabinet before his inauguration on October 20.

Police deployed nearly 8,000 people on Monday to secure the Constitutional Court premises in case protests erupt following the ruling, police spokesman Ade Ary Syam Indradi said.

(Updates throughout the story.)

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