Indonesia’s version of Bush v. Gore has come to an end as the Constitutional Court ruled against the loser of the recent Presidential election, Pabowo Subianto, on Thursday. The decision cleared the way for the widely-hailed reform candidate, Joko Widodo (aka “Jokowi”), to be inaugurated this fall. The New York Times reports:
Indonesia’s Constitutional Court on Thursday rejected claims by Prabowo Subianto, who lost the country’s presidential election in July, that the voting had been rigged, a widely expected ruling that cleared the way for the populist governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, to become the country’s next leader.
The court ruled that Mr. Prabowo, a former army general, had failed to produce evidence backing his claim that the election was marred by “massive, structured and systematic fraud.”
Mr. Joko, who just two years ago was the mayor of a midsize city in Central Java Province, is to be sworn in as president on Oct. 20. He defeated Mr. Prabowo by 53 percent to 47 percent in the July 9 vote, Indonesia’s third direct presidential election since its transition to democracy following the ouster of the authoritarian president Suharto in 1998.
As Derek Parker argued on our site this morning, the next leader of Indonesia faces a heavy task in sorting out a history of corruption and inefficiency. If anyone is up to the task, Jokowi is thought to be that man: a furniture maker who rose to become governor of Jakarta and then President through a series of honest reforms. Now, the world will get to see whether he’s up to it.