Thursday, August 13, 2009

Indonesia poll challenge rejected

View original source: BBC News, 12 August 2009

Indonesian judges have rejected complaints of voting fraud from two of the defeated candidates in last month's presidential election.

The Constitutional Court said there was no evidence to support allegations of systematic electoral violations.

Megawati Sukarnoputri and outgoing Vice-President Jusuf Kalla had claimed that voting lists were inaccurate and millions of votes had been miscounted.

They wanted President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's landslide victory annulled.

Mrs Megawati, herself a former president and daughter of independence hero Sukarno, secured 26.8% of the vote, compared with Mr Yudhoyono's 60.8%.

Mr Kalla received 12.4% of the vote in the 8 July poll.

Both defeated candidates had alleged that voter lists were flawed in the run-up to the elections, amid claims that duplicate names and those of dead people were appearing on the electoral rolls.

In his ruling, the chief judge and head of the Constitutional Court acknowledged that there had been "various election violations, both administrative and criminal".

But Mohammad Mahfud added: "While some were proven in court, they cannot - or cannot yet - be considered as structured, systematic and massive election violations."

Spokesmen for both of the candidates had said on Tuesday they would respect the court's decision.