Court Rejects Opposition Vote Challenge

JAKARTA ~ The Constitutional Court has rejected opposition complaints of irregularities surrounding last month’s presidential polls, confirming Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s re-election.

The court said it could find no reason to order another poll after challengers Megawati Sukarnoputri and Jusuf Kalla claimed millions of voters had been disenfranchised.

“Based on all evidence and laws, we decided to reject all complaints filed by the plaintiffs,” court chairman Mohammad Mahfud said while delivering the ruling on Wednesday.

“Their objections cannot be accepted. This ruling has been taken without any dissenting opinion.”

Opposition leader Megawati, the daughter of independence hero Sukarno, has refused to accept the results of the July 8 polls which she lost in a landslide to ex-general Yudhoyono, just as she lost the previous election to him in 2004.

She said that about 68 million out of around 170 million eligible voters in the world’s third-biggest democracy were disenfranchised by inaccurate voter lists and insufficient polling booths in key districts.

Vice President Kalla, of the Golkar party, made similar complaints in his petition to the court.

But Mahfud said the issues raised by the plaintiffs “cannot be considered electoral violations in a structural, systematic or massive manner” which would invalidate the results.

Official results gave Yudhoyono 60.8 percent of the vote, far ahead of Megawati with 26.8 percent and Kalla with 12.4 percent.

World leaders have congratulated Yudhoyono on his re-election, including US President Barack Obama, who described the vote as “free and fair.”

Filed under: The Nation

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