Opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri launched a Constitutional Court challenge yesterday to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s re-election victory.
The daughter of independence hero Sukarno has refused to accept the results of the July 8 polls, which she lost in a landslide to Yudhoyono, just as she lost the previous election to him in 2004.
“First, we want a second-round presidential election run-off or at least SBY has to bring back the people’s trust by competing in the run-off with us,” Megawati’s legal advisor Arteria Dahlan said, using Yudhoyono’s nickname.
“Second, if that’s not granted, then we want the vote to be counted again across Indonesia. “Third, we have proof that there were problems in 25 provinces, so we want the presidential election to be held again in those 25 provinces,” Dahlan said.
Ex-president Megawati, 62, also complained about irregularities before April general elections which were deemed valid and which saw Yudhoyono’s centrist Democrat Party triple its vote to become the strongest group in parliament.
Ahead of the presidential polls she complained about inaccurate voter lists and missing polling stations, and suggested the Democrats were trying to rig the ballot.
She accepted a Constitutional Court ruling two days before the election that allowed people to vote with their identity cards, in a bid to solve the problem of incomplete voter lists.
But Dahlan said the election commission (KPU) had been negligent and accused it of organizing the polls poorly.
“What we are after is the KPU itself. What we criticize is the KPU’s neglect that has impacted on our vote,” he said.
Official results announced by the KPU on Saturday gave Yudhoyono 60.8 percent of the vote, far ahead of Megawati with 26.8 percent and Vice President Jusuf Kalla with 12.4 percent.
But Megawati believes she has won 35.09 percent compared to 48.70 for Yudhoyono, close enough to force the pair to contest a run-off in September, her chief legal advisor Gayus Lumbuun said.
Kalla has also challenged the results at the Constitutional Court, saying millions of people were left off the official voter lists. He said his challenge was about protecting the future of democracy in a country that emerged from 32 years of dictatorship only 11 years ago.
“It’s not a matter of winning or losing,” Antara news agency quoted him as saying at an event at his Makassar residence called “JK goes home — JK hero of democracy.”
“The principle is that this nation must progress properly, honestly and democratically, because the democratic process must be implemented correctly and fairly,” he said.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big