Indonesia's Constitutional Court opened hearings yesterday on a complaint filed by presidential candidate Wiranto over the July 5 election result, on grounds alleged vote-rigging has caused him to lose millions of votes.
Legal experts and political analysts have warned of a possible backlash should the court rule in favor of Retired Army chief General Wiranto and annul the official votes tally issued early last week by the Indonesian Elections Commission (KPU).
Constitutional Court Chief Justice Jimmly Asshiddiqie said over the weekend that Wiranto, who came in third in the presidential elections, had a chance to move ahead of incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri in the official tally if he could produce "solid evidence" of inaccuracies in the vote count.
Megawati's supporters have warned they would call for re-election if the court ruled in favor of Wiranto and legally annulled the official vote tally.
"If the Constitutional Court had finally accepted Wiranto's complaint, we would demand re-election," A.P. Batubara, one of Megawati's lawyers, told the state-run Antara news agency.
In its vote tally, KPU announced early last week that Wiranto, with the Golkar party, finished third with 26.2 million votes, or 22.15 percent, behind Megawati, who finished with 31.5 million votes, or 26.6 percent. Front-runner Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono garnered 38.8 million votes, or 33.6 per cent,
According to the existing election laws, Yudhoyono and Megawati are set to face off in September run-off polls.
Lawyers representing Wiranto were expected to explain to the court in yesterday's hearing about irregularities during the July 5 presidential election, an official at the constitutional court said.
Constitutional Court Deputy Judge Andi Asrun said a court ruling is expected to be handed down in two weeks at the latest.
Yesterday's court hearing was also attended by lawyers representing the election commission, as well as defense attorneys from other presidential candidates in the July 5 polls.
Wiranto, a former military commander who has been indicted for war crimes in East Timor, filed complaints last Thursday to both the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court against the July 5 poll results.
He claimed that he lost a total of 5.4 million votes caused by irregularities across the country.
The former commander said that his demand was related to a dispute over millions of votes declared invalid due to the "dual punching" of folded ballot papers that were subsequently reinstated.