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            [post_content] => Jakarta. Indonesia’s cement sales last year were below target, dragged down by negative sentiment on uncertainty amid the presidential and legislative elections.

Cement sales in Southeast Asia’s largest economy grew by 3.3 percent to 59.9 million metric tons last year, according to data by the Indonesian Cement Association (ASI) published on Thursday.

The association had targeted sales growth at between 3.5 percent and 4 percent last year — a prediction that was a revision of the association’s initial target of 6 percent — since the elections and a persistent decline in commodity prices had weakened sales. Construction projects were delayed pending the outcome of the elections, in which Joko Widodo narrowly beat rival candidate Prabowo Subianto to become the country’s seventh president.

“The postponement of several infrastructure projects, such as toll roads, also contributed to the decline in national cement consumption,” ASI chairman Widodo Santoso said on Thursday.

However, he noted that cement consumption in Indonesia remained the highest compared to other countries that make up the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“Hopefully, the new government can speed up growth of the infrastructure projects. That way, our domestic cement consumption can jump back to a range of 5 percent to 6 percent,” he added, citing several government-led projects such as the new toll roads in Sumatra and Sulawesi.

Cement sales, as well as motorcycle and car sales, are a leading economic indicator for Indonesia.\

Investor Daily
            [post_title] => Indonesian Cement Sales Below Target in 2014 Amid Elections
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            [post_content] => Jakarta. The year 2014 is seen as the beginning of Indonesia’s new democratic era after a transitional reform period marked by two major political events: the country’s fourth democratic legislative elections and the third direct presidential race.

Following the mayhem surrounding the fall of the authoritarian New Order regime in 1998, instability still marred the first few years of the reform period, when lawmakers elected in Indonesia’s first democratic elections in 1999 made several amendments to the 1945 Constitution, revised electoral rules, created the regional autonomy law and so on to pave the way for a more democratic Indonesia.

The election of former Army general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Indonesia’s first direct presidential race in 2004 gradually brought an equilibrium to the national politics, and this state of stability persisted through Yudhoyono’s second five-year term in office.

Yudhoyono’s decade in power was also marked by the archipelago’s steady economic growth and growing international profile.

The end of Yudhoyono’s presidency  also marks the end of the transitional reform period, according to some analysts, and the country’s new era of “mature” democracy underwent its first test this year during the April 9 legislative election and the July 9 presidential poll.

A total of 12 political parties participated in the 2014 legislative race nationwide to elect members of the House of Representatives and provincial, district and municipal legislatures, known as DPRD. An exception was made for Aceh, where three local parties also took part in the competition for local legislative seats.

The number of parties contesting the April elections was a sharp drop from the figure in 2009, when as many as 44 parties competed for the 560 House seats. This was attributable to the introduction of a parliamentary threshold of 3.5 percent as a prerequisite for old parties seeking to compete in the 2014 legislative elections, from the 2.5 percent threshold enacted ahead of the 2009 elections. As a comparison, legislative contests in 2004 drew 24 political parties and in 1999 48 participants. That was after many years when, during the New Order reign, only three political parties had been allowed to contest elections.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) finished on top in the April 9 election, with 18.95 percent of votes. The win was attributed partly to the so-called “Jokowi effect” — referring to the quick rise to popularity of PDI-P politician Joko Widodo.

The former furniture businessman from the Central Java town of Solo became a household name following his re-election as Solo mayor in 2010 and after his promotion of local car maker Esemka, which grabbed the national media attention. Joko had been  building his reputation since as a populist figure, winning the heart of many Indonesians.

In 2012, the PDI-P nominated him as its candidate in the Jakarta governor’s race, and he and running mate Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, then a lawmaker of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), beat the incumbent, Fauzi Bowo.

In March this year, barely halfway through Joko’s term as governor, PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri declared him the PDI-P’s presidential candidate, with analysts seeing it as the party’s bid to win votes in the legislative race held the following month.

Joko by then led various polls by more than 30 percentage points, with other presidential hopefuls, such as former Army general Prabowo Subianto and Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie, far behind.

The “Jokowi effect,” though, didn’t prove to be a strong enough factor to win the PDI-P enough votes to nominate a presidential candidate on its own. Under electoral law, a party is required to win at least 25 percent of votes in the legislative election or hold 20 percent of House seats to nominate a presidential candidate.

The PDI-P was therefore compelled to align with other parties to nominate Joko, a decision that enraged Prabowo, the founder of Gerindra, which had been in a coalition with the PDI-P since 2009, when Megawati ran for presidency with Prabowo as her running mate.

Prabowo, a former son-in-law of late president Suharto, in March accused Megawati and the PDI-P of breaching the so-called Batu Tulis pact they had signed in 2009, in which Megawati agreed that PDI-P would support Prabowo’s presidential bid in 2014.

The five-year coalition between the PDI-P and Gerindra thus came to an abrupt end. And the animosity continued beyond the April 9 legislative election, with both parties leading two opposing camps responsible for a presidential election considered the most divisive and bitterly contested in Indonesia’s history.

Fractious race

Perhaps it was due to Prabowo’s spite over Megawati’s “betrayal,” or her perceived indifference toward some parties’ approach to the PDI-P as they sought to align with the likely winner — which likely offended many of them as just two tickets (Prabowo-Hatta Rajasa and Joko-Jusuf Kalla) ended up facing off in the presidential contest.

Regardless of which factor dominated, analysts agreed that the months leading up to the July 9 election were Indonesia’s most heated political campaign season ever, marked by an emotional war of words involving supporters of both camps, waged with the help of communication devices and social media platforms.

Smear messages were broadcast daily before going viral through text messages, chat services like BlackBerry Messenger and WhatsApp, and social networking sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, as well as more traditional word of mouth.

Recipients often forwarded the messages without checking facts, treating the unsubstantiated messages as an alternative source of information at a time when the mass media, with many outlets owned or run by people with political affiliations, were deemed untrustworthy.

Citing the result of its survey conducted in May and June, polling institute PoliticaWave said most of the smear messages had targeted Joko.

Joko, a Muslim-born Javanese, was accused of being a Chinese Christian, of being part of a missionary agenda, of being a Chinese-communist and Zionist agent, and so on.

Such smearing, in a predominantly Muslim country where many of the conservative Muslim population are easily provoked by supposedly anti-Islam causes, cost Joko his popularity.

Coupled with the PDI-P elites’ perceived half-hearted support for his presidential bid, Prabowo was able to come close to Joko in polling conducted closer to the election day.

Meanwhile, Prabowo’s political machine, namely six political parties gathered under the Red-White Coalition, or KMP, was seen by analysts as having run a more effective, solid and aggressive campaign to support Prabowo’s presidency.

Most of the parties remain part of the KMP after the presidential election, forming a majority bloc in the House.

In the end, the Joko-Kalla ticket won with 53.15 percent vote. But the thin margin of victory resulted in the losing camp’s rejection of the official election result, accusing the General Elections Commission (KPU) of orchestrating “massive, structured and systematic” electoral fraud in favor of Joko-Kalla.

The KMP brought the case to the Constitutional Court, which declared a month later, on Aug. 21, that it rejected the case entirely, citing a lack of solid evidence.

The court’s verdict sealed Joko and Kalla’s win, and two months later, on Oct. 20, they were sworn in as Indonesia’s president and vice president for the next five years.

Continued battle

Despite the smear and negative campaign war, as well as the KMP’s disappointment over the election result, the 2014 elections were largely considered a peaceful process. There were no violent protests or riots recorded during the events.

But the political rivalry between the KMP and the pro-government Awesome Indonesia Coalition, or KIH, did not end there.

Soon after the new batch of lawmakers was sworn in on Oct. 1, the battle started at the House between the majority opposition and the minority, PDI-P-led KIH.

In what some analysts dub “vengeful politics,” the KMP won vote after vote in the House concerning several critical issues.

Their wins allowed the passage of the controversial law on regional elections and another equally contentious law on legislative bodies, known as the MD3 law.

The regional election law sparked nationwide outcry as it scrapped direct elections of regional leaders introduced during the reform era.

Much of the public anger was directed at then-president Yudhoyono, with the law being passed after lawmakers of his Democratic Party walked out of the House’s plenary session deliberating the bill.

Yudhoyono restored the direct vote mechanism by signing a regulation-in-lieu-of-law, or perppu, concerning the issue in early October, less than three weeks before leaving office.

Lawmakers have three months to decide whether to keep the perppu, otherwise they will have to begin deliberations of an entirely new law on regional elections.

They are expected to make a decision on the issue in January.

The MD3 law, meanwhile, has sparked controversy because it requires Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators seek a permit from the House’s Ethics Council before it can commence investigations into a lawmaker.

This is considered a setback in the country’s antigraft war, with the House being deemed one of the most corrupt institutions in the country and the law giving lawmakers perceived immunity.

The law has also allowed the KMP to sweep up all leadership posts at the House, as well as at the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), as it revised the previous rule of granting the House speaker’s post automatically to the winner of preceding legislative elections; in this case the House speaker post should have gone to the PDI-P.

Even after the United Development Party (PPP), formerly a member of the KMP, changed sides to the KIH over the MPR speaker’s election debacle, the five-party KMP remains the majority in the House with a combined 314 seats (56 percent) versus the five-party KIH’s 246 seats (44 percent).

The KIH formed a resistance against the KMP’s dominance in late October, appointing its own set of House speaker and deputies, but the two opposing camps agreed to reconcile in November, before they entered a recess period in early December.

While some analysts have expressed concerns over the fate of Joko’s administration, given the opposition coalition’s domination of the House, others see it in a more positive light: as a sign of a mature democracy, where lawmakers provide a functional service of checks and balances to the government, rather than cater to its every will.
            [post_title] => Indonesia Comes of Age in 2014 Elections
            [post_excerpt] => The year 2014 is seen as the beginning of Indonesia’s new democratic era after a transitional reform period marked by two major political events: the country’s fourth democratic legislative elections and the third direct presidential race.
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Two yardsticks exist by which we can measure Indonesia’s democratic transition.

The first is the this year’s presidential election. Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, a successful small businessman who became the mayor of Solo and later Jakarta, won the presidency by roughly 8 million votes. The losing candidate, ex-Special Forces commander and Suharto-era insider Prabowo Subianto, disagreed with the majority of voters, as did his coalition of oligarchs and pseudo-religious charlatans. Their coalition’s bond was found in a simple-minded belief they could bend reality to fit their ambitions: they sowed confusion through dubious quick-count tallies, allegations of fraud, and an unsubstantiated case filed with the Constitutional Court, which rejected it. Many an Indonesian bemoans the state of their democracy, but something, indeed, is working.

The second yardstick applies to Indonesia’s macro-level democratic transitions in pursuance of a viable state-citizen compact. Measurements are found in the way that people and government interact with one another on a regular basis: in government offices, in hospitals, in schools and so on. This measurement is taken through the availability of services, and relative levels of transparency and accountability; it is also taken through the nature of civilian interactions with police and military.

The application of this yardstick in Indonesia’s regional cores — in Medan, Padang, Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, and Makassar, for example — leads to relatively positive results. A raucous civil society has taken root in these cores since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship. Education and health services are available, bribery occurs at an acceptable level, and justice is a relatively recognizable concept.

Applying this yardstick in Indonesia’s margins is more troubling. Post-Suharto governance and security reforms seem to have completely bypassed much of eastern Indonesia. Despite (or perhaps because of) decentralization, these areas have proven resistant to change. And it is in such borderlands that the overall health of Indonesia’s transition can be gauged.

Indonesia’s fringes are often as rich in natural resources as they are poor in equality and participation, and a skewed relationship exists between local elite politicians empowered under decentralization and many a leftover New Order oligarch.

In Kalimantan, Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, and other, even less-known, provinces, the members of local political dynasties take bribes to award contracts to Jakarta-based conglomerates in order for them to earn windfall profits from coal, palm, timber, metals and minerals. These contracts don’t account for the people who live on the land in question: they often find out about it when they are ordered by police to move. Elections in such areas are bought, or fixed, and grassroots participants see democracy as a shell game or a way to earn Rp 50,000 ($4.20).

Nowhere is the trinity of resource exploitation, resistance to reform, and lack of development as stark as in Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost province. The application of both yardsticks there produces troubling measurements:

Papua’s colossal natural resource wealth — its coal, gold, copper, oil, gas, and fisheries — is regarded by the state as a national security issue. But how the state regards Papua’s people is less apparent. If government policy toward Papuans is to turn them into healthy, educated citizens that participate in civil and economic life, then that policy has utterly failed. Papuans have the lowest life expectancies in Indonesia, the highest maternal and child mortality rates, the lowest educational levels, and the lowest incomes.

Government policies implicitly place Papuans into three categories of engagement: the co-opted, the traitors and the rest. Co-opted Papuan elites benefited from post-Suharto administrative reforms, when they were recruited heavily into the civil service, and even more so when state responsibilities and accompanying budgets were passed to districts. No matter that most districts lacked the capacity to provide the services they assumed responsibility for. Decentralization led to pemekaran, administrative osmosis that creates new districts at a viral rate.

These entities are created by the House of Representatives, with some lawmakers approving new districts at the behest of their political parties, in order to award a supportive local leader, often at the expense of another. New districts are theoretically supposed to be more responsive to citizens, but in Papua they are nothing but a way to access national subsidies directly and award no-show jobs to clan members. Amid the chaos of contemporary Papua, the province now has double the national average of civil servants. Papua’s special autonomy law is another boon for elites and a failure for everyone else. It returns the majority of Papua’s extracted wealth, in order to improve health, education and other services. It devolved into a slush fund, with much of the wealth absorbed by administrative costs or simply unaccounted for.

The next category is traitors. The Dutch handed over Papua to the UN in 1961 before an Indonesian administrative takeover and an engineered referendum. The area hosts the last active insurgency in Indonesia, even though it is so small that it is a law and order issue. Any imagined manifestation of treason is punished regardless: the government’s aversion to separatist symbols has led to heavy sentences for those who wave them. In an example of Orwell’s 2 + 2 = 5, the government simultaneously denies that such prisoners are political. Select security actors pursue any whiff of treason, but their rabbit hunts occur in an anarchy that is acceptable so long as indigenous leaders agitate against one another and not the state.

And then there’s the rest. In the hinterlands where most indigenous Papuans live, the presence of the state is found in shuttered schools and empty clinics. Papuans are left to their own devices, to die from easily remedied complications in pregnancy or preventable diarrheal diseases, for example. The majority of Papuans support independence because the state has no relevance in their lives.

The tools that were supposed to serve these people — decentralization, pemekaran — were flawed before they were ever put in Papuan hands, and it is no wonder that they have been completely misapplied. Indonesia’s policies toward Papua over time look less like a devolving of powers and more like an abdication of the state’s responsibility toward its poorest citizens. At the grassroots, Papuan civil servants with no-show health and education jobs are complicit in the denial of services to people who desperately need them, but the primary responsibility lies with Jakarta’s decades of neglect. Special autonomy is showcased as an example of governmental munificence, but it has been the vehicle by which Papuan elites have driven their people into a wall.

Applying the yardstick of elections to measure Indonesia’s democratic transition in Papua is even more troubling.

While many Papuan leaders are co-opted by Indonesia, they in turn have co-opted the electoral process, especially in the highlands, where up to half of the eligible voters on district-level rolls do not exist, and the ones that do exist often have their votes cast for them by unelected indigenous leaders through noken , a subversion of the democratic process dressed up as a supposedly ‘cultural’ practice. Highland district election commissions are complicit in this systematic and recurrent fraud. Noken is ironically a re-branding of the system that allowed 1,020 co-opted indigenous leaders to vote for Papua to remain in Indonesia in 1969.

This rigged system will allow a small clique of highlanders to dominate Papuan provincial and legislative politics into the foreseeable future. They will work in cooperative partnership with national-level political figures who are also leaders, or at least investors, in those same corporations that seek contracts to extract Papua’s natural wealth.

The drama of Indonesia’s presidential election has come to an end. Indonesians voted for an administrator at the expense of a king. Great strides have been made in Indonesia’s democratic transition. The benefits of such strides remain to be seen in Papua. The ballots cast freely there went overwhelmingly to Jokowi. Papuans responded to his talk of the commonweal: this was a brief flowering of democracy in a field left barren from experience, and it is perhaps the last opportunity Indonesia has to engage Papuans in a system they rightly feel excluded from.

Dostoyevsky wrote that the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. Papua is no prison, but it can serve as the same Bellwether: for the health of Indonesia’s democratic transition, the integrity of the electoral process, and for the responsibility of the state toward its poorest and least-represented citizens.

Bobby Anderson (rubashov@yahoo.com) works on health, education and governance projects in eastern Indonesia, and travels frequently in Papua and West Papua. 

A version of this article first appeared in Open Democracy.
            [post_title] => Indonesia’s Democratic Transition: The View From Papua
            [post_excerpt] => Nowhere is the trinity of resource exploitation, resistance to reform, and lack of development as stark as in Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost province. 
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            [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_319981" align="aligncenter" width="780"]President-elect Joko Widodo took in 53 percent of the total votes in the July 9 election, while Prabowo Subianto  garnered 47 percent. (Antara Photo/Saiful Bahri) President-elect Joko Widodo took in 53 percent of the total votes in the July 9 election, while Prabowo Subianto garnered 47 percent. (Antara Photo/Saiful Bahri)[/caption]

Jakarta. The lingering resentment from Indonesia’s bitterly contested presidential election has for weeks now seen politicians from the camp of losing candidate Prabowo Subianto continue to wage a war of words against President-elect Joko Widodo.

But the sense of disappointment hasn’t been limited to Prabowo’s inner circle.

Nearly two months after the July 9 election, even after the official announcement of Joko’s victory — later confirmed by a Constitutional Court ruling — many grass-roots supporters and sympathizers of Prabowo remain deeply dissatisfied with the outcome, and have not been shy about expressing their bitterness and cynicism, and the occasional smear, toward the president-elect.

“Do those who supported Jokowi [in the election] repent now? Those who haven’t, hopefully they will soon,” a homemaker in Tangerang wrote on her Facebook page last week, referring to Joko by his nickname.

The post carried a link to a media report that said Joko had asked outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to raise subsidized fuel prices before the end of his term in office, so as to ease the constraints on the incoming administration’s budget.

Sites like Twitter abound with criticism of Joko. On Tuesday, for instance, a Twitter user wrote: “It’s now your call. Do you want to be led by Joko Widodo, a corruptor, a communist, a liar, and a foreign stooge?”

Another user, meanwhile, tweeted, “Let’s congratulate Jokowi on September 30, [as the] president of G30S/PKI,” referring to the alleged coup attempt blamed on the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Movement (PKI) on Sept. 30, 1965.

The weeks leading up to the presidential election were indeed marked by a seemingly concerted smear campaign against Joko, who saw his lead in the polls of more than 30 points whittled down to single digits by balloting day, particularly among conservative Muslim voters who bought into claims that he was, variously, Christian, Jewish, ethnic Chinese, a communist, and a capitalist US agent.

But even after the General Elections Commission (KPU) announced him the winner of the election with 53 percent of the vote, and after the Constitutional Court, in its final and binding verdict, rejected the Prabowo camp’s allegations of massive poll fraud, the negative sentiments toward Joko did not stop, in stark contrast to how quickly animosities subsided after the 2004 and 2009 presidential elections.

Besides the continuing wave of criticism from grassroots voters, more prominent names such as 1998 pro-democracy activist Sri Bintang Pamungkas have also continued to voice their rejection of the election results.

Sri, who in March staged a rally at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta to reject Joko’s candidacy, last week said that he intended to thwart Joko and Vice President-elect Jusuf Kalla’s inauguration at the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) on Oct. 20.

“We will collect thousands of people to occupy the MPR building [during the inauguration ceremony],” Sri said on Friday as quoted by Solopos.com.

“Besides being a puppet, Jokowi is likely an agent for the Republic of China. How could Indonesia be led by an agent and a puppet? Just by kissing the hand of the American ambassador he already looks like a real puppet,” he added.

‘Three circles’

Hamdi Muluk, a professor of political science at the University of Indonesia, noted that this year’s election differed from previous ones in the degree that it polarized the voting public.

He said Prabowo’s supporters could be grouped into “three main circles.” The first is the “hard-liners, namely the elite from the parties in Prabowo’s coalition.”

The people in this circle have a direct interest in ensuring victory for Prabowo, and their ideas have been taken into consideration in every step that Prabowo has taken, Hamdi said.

The second circle is the volunteers. They declared their support for Prabowo and persuaded others to do the same. The final circle is the sympathizers, who voted for Prabowo but did not actively attempt to sway others to also vote for him.

“When the results of the quick counts were released, the first and second circles expressed their rejection. Meanwhile, the third circle began to fall silent and tended not to speak out,” Hamdi told the Jakarta Globe.

“After the KPU’s July 22 announcement, the third circle began to take the neutral path, but the rejection by the first circle flared up, leading to increased religious and racial sentiments.

“Finally, after the ruling by the Constitutional Court and [the rejection of Prabowo’s lawsuit] by the State Administrative Court, the third circle became disappointed, especially with the non-statesmanlike attitude displayed by Prabowo. The second circle also appeared to begin to re-evaluate their own attitudes, while the first circle remain determined to continue to strive for Prabowo.”

Hamdi said the lingering rejection among some of Prabowo’s supporters at the grassroots level could be the result of mobilization by the first circle. Elites in the first circle inevitably have the money and power to mobilize the masses in their favor, he said.

‘Heal the rift’

Eva Kusuma Sundari, a legislator from Joko’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), also blamed the political elites from the rival camp for letting the deep resentment and dissatisfaction grow among Prabowo’s supporters.

“The key lies with the parties’ elites. They shouldn’t capitalize on [the lingering dissatisfaction]. Instead, they should motivate their supporters to ease the sentiments,” she told the Globe on Tuesday.

Eva added that the deep negativity was expected to end eventually.

“The so-called democratic festivity of the election is over. Now our job is to heal the rift among Indonesians for the sake of this nation’s unity. Any issues related to smear campaigns must be eliminated. They shouldn’t continue, they must be stopped,” she said.

“It is now up to the politicians of this country to show statesmanship to unite our people,” she added.

Hanta Yudha, the director of the Pol-Tracking Institute, a political think tank, echoed the statements, saying the elites played a significant role in ending this issue that had polarized Indonesians.

“Things like smear campaigns are inevitable in a democratic country like Indonesia. The continuing smears on social media are a form of dissatisfaction from Prabowo’s supporters,” he said. “However, rather than continuing to badmouth Joko and not move on, it’s better for our people to get engaged by monitoring the incoming government’s performance in implementing policies and fulfilling campaign promises. That’s surely more important.”

Hanta said he expected the smear campaigns to gradually diminish after Joko’s government began working.

“I’m quite sure that such sentiments in social media will die down, especially after the cabinet is formed. There will likely be parties from [Prabowo’s] Merah Putih coalition jumping ship to Joko’s camp.”

He added that Joko and his transition team shouldn’t have to spend time and energy addressing criticism of the president-elect, but rather focus on forming the cabinet and managing the priority list of programs.

But the “first circle” of Prabowo supporters appear unwilling to give up, announcing that they were seeking a judicial review with the Supreme Court of a KPU regulation “that we consider to be a violation of [a higher] law,” Didi Supriyanto, a lawyer for the campaign team, said as quoted by Okezone.com.

The motion is expected to be in vain, given that the Constitutional Court, and not the Supreme Court, is the sole arbiter of election disputes. With their options at the judiciary seemingly exhausted, members of Prabowo’s coalition are now turning to the legislative branch of government by pushing to set up a special committee at the House of Representatives to look into allegations of electoral fraud.

Golkar Party politician Agun Sudarsa said setting up the committee would be the best way to ease the sense of dissatisfaction plaguing the camp.

“The Constitutional Court had little time to thoroughly study all the documents, so [the ruling upholding Joko’s victory] is not substantial. The House committee will be able [to seek] substantial justice, without a deadline,” he said on Friday, as quoted by JPNN.com.

Further Coverage

Editorial: Democratic Party Needs SBY
            [post_title] => After a Fractious Election Between Prabowo and Jokowi, Animosity Lingers
            [post_excerpt] => The lingering resentment from Indonesia’s bitterly contested presidential election has for weeks now seen politicians from the camp of losing candidate Prabowo Subianto continue to wage a war of words against President-elect Joko Widodo.
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            [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_319697" align="aligncenter" width="780"]President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, right, leaves the podium after giving a press conference with party members of the Merah Putih Coalition in Cikeas, Bogor, West Java, on Sept. 2, 2014. (Antara Photo/Andika Wahyu) President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, right, leaves the podium after giving a press conference with party members of the Merah Putih Coalition in Cikeas, Bogor, West Java, on Sept. 2, 2014. (Antara Photo/Andika Wahyu)[/caption]

Cikeas. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday said he supports the role of Prabowo Subianto’s Merah Putih coalition in serving as a balancing party to the incoming administration of President-elect Joko Widodo, even though he encouraged Democratic Party members last month not to align themselves with the coalition.

“I acknowledge Merah Putih coalition’s ideas on how to supervise the administration and to become the balancing power. This role is necessary,” he said during a press conference at his private resident in Cikeas, West Java, after receiving high-ranking officials from the Merah Putih coalition on Tuesday morning.

Yudhoyono also acknowledged that the coalition has accepted the final result of the president election, after the Constitutional Court settled an election dispute filed by Prabowo, who challenged the official election results of the General Elections Commission.

“I am happy because the Merah Putih coalition has set their attitude and acknowledged the [results of the] presidential election,” the president said.

Yudhoyono, who is also chairman of the Democratic Party, stressed that although Joko and Vice President-elect Jusuf Kalla had won the election, Prabowo and his vice presidential running mate Hatta Rajasa had garnered enough votes to strengthen the Merah Putih coalition, and therefore their opinions in the upcoming administration should be highly considered.

In the July 9 election Joko and Kalla had almost 71 million votes, or 53.15 percent, of the total votes, compared to Prabowo and Hatta, who garnered about 63 million votes, or 46.85 percent.

“Don’t forget that Prabowo and Hatta have also garnered a large amount of votes. The gap wasn’t too big between the two pairs. As such, we have to respect and acknowledge this, the existence of this strong political power which will bring good, if both work hand in hand in building the future,” he said.

“It is part of the democratic progress for parties outside of the government to monitor and ensure that the administration runs well.”

  [post_title] => Yudhoyono Supports Merah Putih Coalition as Balancing Power to Jokowi's Administration [post_excerpt] => President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday said he supports the role of Prabowo Subianto’s Merah Putih coalition in serving as a balancing party to the incoming government under President-Elect Joko Widodo, despite having encouraged his Democratic Party last month not to align themselves with the coalition. 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[_yoast_wpseo_linkdex] => 60 [_thumbnail_id] => 319697 [_wpas_done_all] => 1 [post_views_count] => 228 ) [user_author] => Jakarta Globe [author_by_line] => SP/Robertus Wardhy & Ezra Sihite [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 3000 [height] => 2001 [file] => http://img.thejakartaglobe.com/2014/09/Presiden-Bertemu-Koalisi-Merah-Putih-020914-aw-1.jpg [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Presiden-Bertemu-Koalisi-Merah-Putih-020914-aw-1-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Presiden-Bertemu-Koalisi-Merah-Putih-020914-aw-1-300x200.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 200 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Presiden-Bertemu-Koalisi-Merah-Putih-020914-aw-1-1024x683.jpg [width] => 1024 [height] => 683 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 8 [credit] => ANDIKA WAHYU [camera] => NIKON D3S [caption] => President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, right, leaves the podium after giving a press conference with party members of the Merah Putih Coalition in Cikeas, Bogor, West Java, on Sept. 2, 2014. (Antara Photo/Andika Wahyu) [created_timestamp] => 1409648659 [copyright] => ANTARA FOTO [focal_length] => 17 [iso] => 400 [shutter_speed] => 0.008 [title] => Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (kanan) meninggalkan podium seusai memberikan keterangan pers disaksikan politisi dari partai anggota Koalisi Merah Putih di kediamannya Puri Cikeas, Bogor, Jabar ) [post_id] => 319697 ) ) [5] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 318331 [post_author] => 46 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_318332" align="aligncenter" width="780"]Joko Widodo gestures during an interview with Reuters in Jakarta in this July 19, 2014 file photograph. (Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside) Joko Widodo gestures during an interview with Reuters in Jakarta in this July 19, 2014 file photograph. (Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside)[/caption] Jakarta. When he was nominated in March as a candidate for Indonesia’s presidential election, polls showed Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had a 30-point lead over the man who would become his main challenger, former army general Prabowo Subianto. But after three months of shambolic and lackluster campaigning, the wildly popular governor of Jakarta was staring at defeat. “If you continue like this, it’s clear we will lose,” prominent businessman Sofjan Wanandi told Joko and senior members of his Indonesian Democratic-Party of Struggle (PDI-P) at a crisis meeting on June 16. With election day less than three weeks away, Joko had just been given a poll showing Prabowo trailed by only 1.8 points. “’No more discussion. We have to start fighting’,” Joko told the stunned gathering at a Jakarta hotel according to Sofjan, a key financier of Joko’s campaign, recalling the drama in a recent interview with Reuters. That meeting was the turning point. Galvanized by an army of young, social media-savvy volunteers, and by what one advisor called “fear of losing”, Joko’s campaign kicked into gear. He eventually beat Prabowo by about six percentage points, with 53.15 percent of the 130 million votes cast on July 9. Alleging “massive cheating”, Prabowo still disputes the result and has so far refused to call Joko to congratulate him on his win. On Aug. 21, Indonesia’s constitutional court unanimously rejected his last-ditch bid to overturn it. Decade of experience Aides insist Joko’s amateurish campaign does not presage an equally tepid and directionless presidency. A close media advisor said the near-miss will make him a stronger leader. “This will be a president who takes risks but who has learned a lot about the country through the campaign,” he said. “He’s like a sponge. He learns from people and from his experiences.” Lukewarm support from the PDI-P and its long-time leader Megawati Sukarnoputri — a former president who had coveted a return to power — blighted Joko’s early campaign. Many now wonder what influence Megawati will exert over the presidency. “The campaign indicates there are certain key constituencies he will have to handle very deftly,” said Jakarta-based political analyst Douglas Ramage. Less than two years ago, Joko was mayor of Solo, a city of 500,000 in Central Java. On Oct. 20, he will be sworn in as president of the world’s fourth most populous country. Despite this meteoric rise, some experts believe he has the skills to run Indonesia after winning plaudits for his business-like management of the teeming capital over the past 18 months and for transforming crime-ridden Solo into a center for art and culture. “He might be inexperienced on the national stage, but what we often miss is that he’s 53, with a decade of experience in executive positions,” said Ramage. Joko assumes the presidency at a critical time, with Indonesia’s growing confidence abroad matched by an unfulfilled domestic yearning for clean government and a more equitable society. Indonesia under Joko will be more “inward-looking, but that’s not a bad thing,” said Achmad Sukarsono, a political analyst at the Habibie Center, a Jakarta think tank. “We have a president who [understands] our interests, not just the interests of the few elites.” ‘Puppet president’ Joko’s campaign got off to a late start. The PDI-P didn’t nominate him until mid-March, only then scotching speculation Megawati would run despite losing two previous presidential elections. By contrast, Prabowo’s bid was years in the planning. The rift between Joko and the PDI-P widened after the April 9 parliamentary election. The party performed worse than expected. Its campaign, run by Puan Maharani, Megawati’s daughter and heir apparent to the PDI-P chair, failed to capitalize on Joko’s popularity. Instead, it promoted the notion that Megawati controlled the party — and, by implication, Joko. This was a gift to Prabowo, who would urge people not to vote for a “puppet president”. Joko later told Reuters he respected Megawati. Agitated, he added: “If there is someone who says that I’m a puppet, that is a big mistake.” Even so, Megawati’s debatable influence over Joko was a drag on the campaign. “The party machinery was not working,” said the close media advisor, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. “There was no coordination and everyone was just very relaxed.” On May 19, Golkar, Indonesia’s second-largest party, unexpectedly threw its support behind Prabowo, and a Joko presidency no longer felt like a sure thing. Smears and volunteers A smear campaign was also in full swing. Rumors spread on social media that Joko, a Javanese Muslim, was an ethnic Chinese Christian — a tough sell in the country with the world’s largest population of Muslims. “The most frustrating part of the campaign was spending 70 percent of our time in Islamic boarding schools, countering the black campaign about Jokowi being ethnic Chinese and Christian,” vice president-elect Jusuf Kalla told Reuters in a post-election interview. As Prabowo gained in the polls, more volunteers got involved. Among them was Melany Tedja, an energy consultant. She had assumed most educated Indonesians would gravitate towards Joko. “In fact, surveys showed that the more privileged you are, the more likely you are to vote for Prabowo,” she said. “They really bought the whole concept of Prabowo being this firm, tough leader.” Tedja felt the campaign was focusing too much on the folksy affability of Joko, a former furniture salesman. “What got lost was that his team is full of people who are strong on economics, energy, foreign affairs,” she said. So Melany joined an army of volunteers she estimated would swell to 2 million people. They countered smears and promoted his platform on social media, urging undecided voters to choose Joko. When it came to presidential debates, however, Joko appeared to be on his own. His forgettable performance in the first debate on June 9 was followed by a spiritless one six days later. Then came the June 16 crisis meeting attended by Joko, his running mate Kalla, Megawati, her daughter Puan and heads of other parties that supported his candidacy. They were presented with a poll by the Jakarta-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) showing Joko’s lead over Prabowo had shrunk to 1.8 points. The results were never published for fear of further eroding that lead, said businessman Sofjan. Joko’s team “finally woke up”, said Sofjan. “They didn’t take [winning] for granted anymore. Even Megawati got into action and started campaigning.” Final push While the party machinery had idled, campaign volunteers had become a potent force. On July 5, four days before the election, tens of thousands of Joko supporters gathered at a Jakarta stadium for a free concert by famous Indonesian musicians. That “final push” by volunteers helped swing many middle-class voters, said Anies Baswedan, Joko’s spokesman. “[The volunteers] convinced them that they had to be part of this history.” For many Indonesians, Prabowo revived memories of long-ruling dictator Suharto — once his father-in-law — who was overthrown in 1998. “People realized that if Prabowo became president, the kind of Indonesia they had become used to could disappear,” said the close media advisor. On the evening of July 5, Joko — wearing his signature checked shirt — was relaxed and confident in the third and final presidential debate, while Prabowo looked flustered. Campaigning was forbidden by law for three days before the election. Joko made a quick trip to Mecca, helping silence those who questioned his faith. President Joko Widodo President-elect Joko faces huge expectations, particularly from ex-campaign volunteers. “Because we made this happen, it’s like we are the government,” said Melany Tedja. As a candidate, Joko has promised to avoid shady political horsetrading and appoint a technocratic cabinet. Keeping that promise will be tough. “Already there are people in the coalition screaming, ‘Why am I not in the transition team? I want this or that ministry!’ Jokowi has to deal with that pressure,” a member of Joko’s transition team told Reuters. A senior campaign advisor insists Joko’s victory has prompted “a fundamental shift” in his relationship with Megawati. “He has delivered a victory she could only dream of,” he said. “That gives him a lot of power, and with that kind of power you can’t be pushed around.” Reuters [post_title] => Shambolic Election Campaign Leaves President-Elect Jokowi Much to Prove [post_excerpt] => Aides insist President-elect Joko Widodo’s amateurish campaign does not presage an equally tepid and directionless presidency. A close media advisor said the near-miss will make him a stronger leader. [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/?p=318331 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2014-08-28 10:40:21 [post_date] => 2014-08-28 17:40:21 [post_name] => shambolic-election-campaign-leaves-president-elect-jokowi-much-prove [author] => Kanupriya Kapoor [author_permalink] => /author/kanupriya-kapoor/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 140 [name] => Politics [slug] => politics [parent] => 79 [term_taxonomy_id] => 162 [permalink] => news/politics ) ) [permalink] => /politics/shambolic-election-campaign-leaves-president-elect-jokowi-much-prove/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1409222288:170 [_edit_last] => 170 [_thumbnail_id] => 318332 [author] => Kanupriya Kapoor [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => jokowi [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => Aides insist President-elect Joko Widodo’s amateurish campaign does not presage an equally tepid and directionless presidency. 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(Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside) [created_timestamp] => 1409173398 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => File photo of Indonesia's presidential candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo gesturing during an interview with Reuters in Jakarta ) [post_id] => 318332 ) ) [6] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 316677 [post_author] => 18 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_316710" align="aligncenter" width="780"]Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo demonstrates his penalty-taking technique in Pluit, North Jakarta on Aug. 17. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro) Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo demonstrates his penalty-taking technique in Pluit, North Jakarta on Aug. 17. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro)[/caption] Jakarta. If Joko Widodo's supporters thought that Thursday's Constitutional Court ruling had removed the final obstacle standing between their man and the State Palace — they had underestimated the ability of Indonesian law to throw in one last Kafkaesque twist. Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi urged Joko on Friday to hand in his resignation as Jakarta Governor to the Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD) at the earliest possible opportunity. “He should step down, because he should not hold two state official posts. A governor is a state official, so is a president," Gamawan said, as quoted by the state-run Antara news agency. "His resignation has to be approved by the Jakarta Legislative Council." But the DPRD does not have to accept Joko's resignation, which could mean Joko is unable to take his seat in the State Palace in October. There is a precedent. When Fauzi Bowo served as Jakarta governor, his deputy, Prijanto, handed in a letter of resignation in March, 2012, but it was not ratified by the DPRD. Prijanto was forced to continue as deputy governor until Joko won the next election. Gamawan said Joko required a minimum of 54 councilors voting in favor of his resignation. “I've counted it, Joko's coalition at the Jakarta DPRD consists of only 50 seats," Gamawan said. "He needs at least 54 councilors to approve his resignation. I hope there will be no rejection." Joko's coalition at the DPRD consists of, in fact, only 49 seats — this does not include the Democratic Party, which has 10 seats. The Merah Putih coalition led by Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party controls 47 seats. Joko said on Friday that he would file his resignation after the new DPRD members were inaugurated on Monday. “There's still the inauguration of DPRD members, then the selection process of the DPRD speaker. Let's wait until the entire process is done,” Joko said, as quoted by Antara on Friday. Politician Poempida Hidayatulloh, a fired Golkar Party legislator and close aide of vice-president-elect Jusuf Kalla, said that Joko had no option but to reach out to other parties. “Whether he likes it or not, he should make room to ask other parties to join him,” Poempida said. “There should be a political compromise to reach a deal." Refly Harun, a constitutional law expert, criticized Gamawan for his comments and said the potential legal quagmire had to be avoided. “Even though the DPRD has the authority to reject the resignation, there is no rationality behind it," he said. "[Joko] has been elected president, I do not think it is logical to use the procedure as a tool for political bargaining. Resignation is the right of a state official." “People might think that Joko's victory could be annulled,” Refly said. “It's improper for the minister to say that.” Refly said a DPRD rejection of Joko's resignation could lead to a power vacuum. “It's not only about the regulation and the law, but the ethics in government,” he said. “People should comply with the regulations, but not use the regulations to hamper the greater good." [post_title] => After Extra Time, Jokowi's Presidency Still Not Settled [post_excerpt] => If Joko Widodo's supporters thought that Thursday's Constitutional Court ruling had removed the final obstacle standing between their man and the State Palace — they had underestimated the ability of Indonesian law to throw in one last Kafkaesque twist. 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[caption id="attachment_311062" align="aligncenter" width="780"]Prabowo Subianto, left, and President-elect Joko Widodo. (Reuters Photos) Prabowo Subianto, left, and President-elect Joko Widodo. (Reuters Photos)[/caption]
[This story was first published at 10:05 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014] Jakarta. The Constitutional Court on Thursday rejected in its entirety the lawsuit filed by presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto against the official election result, reaffirming Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo as Indonesia’s next and seventh president. The losing camp, though, was quick to raise another allegation, this time of an “unjust” ruling by the court. “[We] reject the plaintiff’s lawsuit in its entirety,” Chief Justice Hamdan Zoelva said as he read out the verdict. There was no dissenting opinion from any of the nine justices in the nation’s highest court. They also granted none of the Prabowo camp’s demands in the lawsuit, including for the court to reject the official tally by the General Elections Commission (KPU), for revotes in seven provinces and for Prabowo and his running mate Hatta Rajasa to be declared winners of the July 9 election instead. During the six-hour final hearing of the case, the court justices read out 300 out of 3,000 pages of the verdict, explaining the reasons for their rejection of each claim made by the Prabowo-Hatta Rajasa camp, which alleged “structured, systematic and massive” cheating by KPU officials in favor of Joko and his running mate, Jusuf Kalla. In a press conference soon after the hearing was concluded, the Prabowo camp said they would bow to the court’s final and binding verdict, but did not stop from raising another allegation of injustice. “As citizens who honor the Constitution, we the Red White Coalition acknowledge the verdict of the court as an institution that handles, tries and rules on presidential election disputes,” Tantowi Yahya, a spokesman for the political party coalition in support of Prabowo, said on Thursday night. “But the trial and court proceedings at the Constitutional Court ignored the in-depth evidence argumentation and failed to accommodate testimonies from witnesses, whose number is actually far higher than that approved [to testify].” “Although final and binding, the court’s verdict doesn’t necessarily reflect substantial truth and justice to the people of Indonesia, although this substantial justice is an important matter in democracy.” Tantowi said the coalition would continue to oversee other legal processes outside the court. On Thursday, the Election Organizers Ethics Council (DKPP) also issued its ruling on a similar complaint filed by the Prabowo-Hatta team. Other than that, the camp also earlier announced its plans to bring the case to the State Administrative Court (PTUN) and to the legislation through the planned establishment of a special committee, or pansus, that will scrutinize the July 9 election process. Separately, Joko said he appreciated the Constitutional Court and the DKPP rulings and the “transparent and professional” trials. “This will pave the way for us to immediately plan our new government,” he said at a press conference that was also attended by Kalla. [caption id="attachment_316588" align="alignleft" width="300"]Joko Widodo will be inaugurated in October as Indonesia's seventh president. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf) Joko Widodo will be inaugurated in October as Indonesia's seventh president. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)[/caption] Lawsuit flaws One of the main points of contention in Prabowo’s lawsuit concerns the list of people eligible to vote in the July 9 presidential election. Refuting Prabowo’s claims of modified lists to help Joko-Kalla win, the court said the list had been carefully composed and played no role in any alleged election fraud. “The Fixed Voter List [DPT] was a bottom-up list, composed from the lowest to the highest levels in a certain time frame,” Justice Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi said, adding that if the losing presidential candidate had any complaints about the list, he should have come forward in the period the KPU had set especially for that purpose. But because Prabowo’s legal team only complained after the period to fix problems with the list, the court considered their argument “irrelevant.” Marwah Daud Ibrahim, a legal expert in the Prabowo-Hatta camp, previously testified at the court that the DPT had been manipulated, saying that data of 10 percent of voters across the country, or around 19 million people, had been tampered with. The court said the experts presented by Prabowo, Marwah and Rasyid Saleh, had failed to prove any correlation between the voter list and alleged election fraud. The justices also said there was no evidence that the Special Voter List (DPK) and Additional Voter List (DPKTb) had been used to illegally add votes to the tally of Joko Widodo and his running mate Jusuf Kalla, who won the election. The court said the use of the DPK and the DPKTb — to facilitate voting by people not on the Fixed Voter List — was not a violation of the Constitution, stressing the importance of citizens’ right to vote and to be elected. “The right to vote is a fundamental right, which cannot be negated only because of administrative reasons,” Fadlil said, adding that the KPU had the right to issue regulations to guide local election commissions. Fadlil also said the DPK and the DPKTb should be considered only a temporary method, and that a permanent solution should be found for any problems with voter lists. But the justice concluded: “There is no evidence that the DPK and the DPKTb have been used to mobilize voters at the expense of one of the candidates.” The DKPP, which held a separate trial on the Prabowo camp’s complaint against KPU officials, on Thursday rejected the allegation that some KPU regulations concerning the voter lists were intended to help Joko-Kalla win. “The KPU regulations are very much in line with principles of election organization. [The regulations] concerning DPK and DPKTb have been intended to help people meet their constitutional rights,” DKPP justice Anna Herliyana read out the verdict during a hearing in DKPP office in Jakarta on Thursday. “The use of DPKTb cannot be classified as structured, systematic and massive [cheating]. The defendants have rightfully done their obligations. The DKPP instead dismissed four local KPU officers in Serang, Banten, for taking bribes from Prabowo’s Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra). Five other election officers, from Dogiyai district in Papua, were dismissed for logistical failures. “Nine members have been dismissed, 30 have been warned, and 20 were found not guilty,” DKPP chief Jimly Asshiddiqie said on Thursday, as quoted by Indonesian news portal detik.com. The DKPP warned 30 other election officers for procedural violations — including the chief and four members of Jakarta KPU, South Jakarta KPU, North Jakarta KPU, East Jakarta KPU and Central Jakarta KPU, and five from the national KPU. The ethics council also reprimanded KPU chairman Husni Kamil Manik for delegating his task of leading the KPU’s plenary session on July 22, when it announced Joko-Kalla the winners of the July 9 presidential election. “Defendant [Husni] is proven to have failed to exercise the correct priorities as an election organizer,” Justice Valina Singka Subekti said. The DKPP also criticized the KPU for opening sealed ballot boxes without a court order after it learned of the Prabowo team’s plan to challenge the KPU tally to the Constitutional Court. KPU officials argued that they did so to prepare for the case, but the Prabowo team have accused them of attempting to modify the result. Bawaslu, though, has defended the KPU’s move, and the Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled that it was legal because KPU had invited witnesses from both camps, Bawaslu and police while opening the boxes, which were sealed after individual tallies by poll stations across the country Violent rally Meanwhile, at least 46 people reportedly sustained injuries, some of them serious, after Prabowo-Hatta supporters clashed with police outside the court building. “Based on checks by the medical unit of the Jakarta Police, the number of victims injured or hurt by tear gas stands at 46,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said. “Forty of them have left for home, four people were referred to Gatot Subroto Army Hospital ... and two others are still being treated at the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital.” Police fired water cannons and tear gas on the mob of Prabowo supporters attempting to storm the court as the judges read out their verdict. The crowd of several thousand threw rocks and tried to break through the barricades set up by police at the southern end of Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta at 2:30 p.m., half an hour after the reading of the verdict began, prompting police to use tear-gas canisters and water cannons to disperse the crowd. There were also reports of police firing rubber bullets into the crowd, but police have denied this. The measures sent the demonstrators scrambling, with some fleeing the scene on their motorcycles and rented minivans and buses. Police have arrested four people alleged to have incited the crowd into trying to breach the barricade. “We also seized three cars,” Dwi added, referring to the heavy-duty troop carriers that the crowd had brought with them. It remains unclear where they obtained the military-issue Unimog trucks. Order was restored after 15 minutes when supporters were pushed back all the way to the intersection of Jalan M.H. Thamrin and Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan. Many of the demonstrators chose to head home after the incident, leaving around 600 people still at the scene in the afternoon. Additional reporting by Bayu Marhaenjati, Camelia Pasandaran & Yustinus Paat Further Coverage Editorial: Time Has Come to Focus on the Future Prabowo’s Coalition Disappointed With Court’s Rejection of Challenge to Election Result Eyewitness: Final Stand   [post_title] => Constitutional Court Upholds KPU Decision Declaring Jokowi Next President [post_excerpt] => The Constitutional Court has upheld the General Election Commission’s decision to officially declare Joko Widodo the winner of Indonesia's July 9 presidential election. [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/?p=316552 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2014-08-21 17:05:36 [post_date] => 2014-08-22 00:05:36 [post_name] => constitutional-court-upholds-kpu-decision-name-jokowi-next-president [author] => Jakarta Globe [author_permalink] => /author/jakarta-globe [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 140 [name] => Politics [slug] => politics [parent] => 79 [term_taxonomy_id] => 162 [permalink] => news/politics ) ) [permalink] => /politics/constitutional-court-upholds-kpu-decision-name-jokowi-next-president/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1408641516:170 [_edit_last] => 170 [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => constitutional court ruling [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => The Constitutional Court has upheld the General Election Commission’s decision to officially declare Joko Widodo the winner of the presidential election. [_yoast_wpseo_linkdex] => 65 [_thumbnail_id] => 316589 [_wpas_done_all] => 1 [dsq_thread_id] => 2946880827 [post_views_count] => 305 ) [user_author] => Jakarta Globe [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 780 [height] => 352 [file] => http://img.thejakartaglobe.com/2014/08/Foto-Diri-Jokowi-120814-wsj-51.jpg [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Foto-Diri-Jokowi-120814-wsj-51-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Foto-Diri-Jokowi-120814-wsj-51-300x135.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 135 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 3.2 [credit] => ANTARA FOTO [camera] => [caption] => CROPPED-VERSION [created_timestamp] => 1407846660 [copyright] => ANTARA FOTO [focal_length] => 70 [iso] => 3200 [shutter_speed] => 0.016666666666667 [title] => Gubernur DKI Jakarta yang juga Presiden terpilih, Joko Widodo berpose ketika diambil gambarnya oleh wartawan foto di ruang kerjanya di Balaikota, Jakarta, Selasa (12/8). ) [post_id] => 316589 ) ) [8] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 316563 [post_author] => 19 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_316564" align="alignleft" width="300"]Supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto shout slogans during a protest near the Constitutional Court in Jakarta on Aug. 21, 2014. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta) Supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto shout slogans during a protest near the Constitutional Court in Jakarta on Aug. 21, 2014. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)[/caption] Jakarta. The Merah Putih coalition, which supported losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, expressed disappointment at the Constitutional Court’s ruling that rejected Prabowo’s challenge to the election results. “The Constitutional Court ruling, regardless if final and binding, is not necessarily a reflection of the truth and substantial justice for the entire people of Indonesia,” coalition spokesman Tantowi Yahya said at a televised press conference from the Grand Hyatt Jakarta Hotel, shortly after  the court's decision was announced on Thursday evening. He added that the court failed to recognize the evidence and testimonies offered by witnesses. Tantowi said that the coalition would safeguard other legal steps and political efforts that would be taken, but he did not elaborate what kind of legal steps would be taken. Juri Ardiantoro of the General Elections Commission (KPU) said, though, that the court ruling is the latest process of the presidential election, meaning that there are no more legal steps that can be used to appeal the court’s decision. The KPU announced on July 22 that Joko won the presidential election after getting the majority of votes. Tantowi said that regardless of the ruling, all parties would remain in the coalition, saying that they would continue the struggle from the House of Representatives and the People’s Consultative Assembly. “Our love of this country obliges us to safeguard and contribute to this nation even if outside the government," he said. "We will not let this country be controlled by a few people. The legislative bodies will be the balancing power, and we will ensure the check and balance system will run well.” Tantowi said Prabowo could not attend the press conference because he had to visit the “victims” of the clash between police and Prabowo’s supporters in their fight for justice on Thursday. [post_title] => Prabowo’s Coalition Disappointed With Court's Rejection of Challenge to Election Result [post_excerpt] => The Merah Putih coalition, which supported losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, expressed disappointment at the Constitutional Court’s ruling that rejected Prabowo’s challenge to the election results. [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/?p=316563 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2014-08-21 15:09:53 [post_date] => 2014-08-21 22:09:53 [post_name] => prabowos-coalition-disappointed-courts-rejection-challenge-election-result [author] => Jakarta Globe [author_permalink] => /author/jakarta-globe [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 140 [name] => Politics [slug] => politics [parent] => 79 [term_taxonomy_id] => 162 [permalink] => news/politics ) ) [permalink] => /politics/prabowos-coalition-disappointed-courts-rejection-challenge-election-result/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1408635388:170 [_edit_last] => 170 [_thumbnail_id] => 316564 [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => merah putih prabowo [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => The Merah Putih coalition, which supported losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, expressed disappointment at the Constitutional Court’s ruling that rejected Prabowo’s challenge to the election results. 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