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Indonesia: Elected President accused of fraud

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Indonesian general election was conducted on 17 April 2019 and over 190 million eligible voters participated,

The president, the vice president, members of the People’s Consultative Assembly, and members of local legislative bodies were elected on the same day.

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The elected President has been accused for systematic electoral fraud and abuse of power, lawyers for Indonesia’s political opposition called on Friday for President Joko Widodo’s election victory to be annulled.

Official results released by the General Election Commission last month showed Widodo had beaten Prabowo Subianto, a retired general, by 11 percentage points to win over 55 percent of votes in April’s poll, but his opponent has refused to concede defeat.

The dispute has prompted weeks of uncertainty in the world’s third-largest democracy. Violent clashes broke out between Prabowo’s supporters and police in the heart of the capital Jakarta last month after the official result was announced.

Eight people were killed and over 900 hurt in the riots. Police have arrested dozens of alleged instigators, including a close ally of Prabowo suspected of orchestrating assassination plots against top government officials

Earlier this week, Prabowo, who had previously warned of “people power”-style street protests, urged supporters to remain calm through the Constitutional Court proceedings.

Around 17,000 police and military personnel have been deployed to prevent a repeat of last month’s unrest while the Constitutional Court deliberates. There was a small peaceful protest held by opposition supporters near the heavily protected court building, some holding placards saying “We demand justice!”

Prabowo and his campaign team want the court to annul the official result, disqualify Widodo and his running mate as candidates, or hold another election. The court is expected to deliver a verdict by June 28.

“We are filing a lawsuit against the General Election Commission (KPU), demanding that the KPU annul its decision on the result of the presidential election,” Bambang Widjojanto, the chief lawyer representing Prabowo, told the court on Friday.

The legal team pointed to issues with Widodo’s campaign financing and use of state apparatus as a campaign tool, saying the official election result came about because of “illegal actions, fraud and abuse of power which are structured, systematic and massive”.

The election supervisory agency has said previously there was no evidence of systematic cheating and independent observers have said the poll was free and fair.

Legal representatives for the KPU and Widodo’s campaign team were present at the hearing and were expected to make statements later on Friday.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Tunisia: former President Ben Ali confirmed dead

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All time, former Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says.

Ben Ali led the country for 30years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.

But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and for widespread corruption.

In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. This triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world.

At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall, in what became known as the Arab Spring.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Gantz refuse’s Netanyahu offer on unity government

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After a vote tally showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival.

Israel’s weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw his offer on Thursday for a coalition with his strongest political rival,  Gantz, swiftly rebuffed after failing to secure a governing majority in a tight election.

Netanyahu’s surprise move was an abrupt change of strategy for the right-wing leader. Its rejection could spell weeks of wrangling after Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive national ballot in April.

Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party emerged from the second round of voting this year slightly ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud, but also short of enough supporters in the 120-member parliament for a ruling bloc.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, said in a video clip in which he urged Gantz, the country’s former military chief, to meet him “as soon as today”, that he had pledged during the election campaign to form a right-wing, Likud-led government.

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