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Indonesia, losing candidate's supporters hold rally

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) - Thousands of people have rallied outside a Jakarta court house to show their support for ex-military general Prabowo Subianto, who is claiming his opponent in the July 9 presidential poll won through election commission-sponsored fraud. The court said in a second hearing Friday that a legal challenge filed by Subianto states that Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s win was "legally invalid" because it was obtained "unlawfully" or through "abuse of authority" by the country’s election commission.
Thousands of police ringed the courthouse to keep Subianto's supporters at bay. Court documents from Subianto's team submitted on the first day of the hearing Wednesday questioned the validity of 2.7 million votes. They have issued their version of the results that put Jokowi on 66.44 million votes, or 49.74 percent, and claimed that Subianto was victorious with more than 67.14 million, or 50.25 percent. The General Elections Commission announced July 9 that Jokowi had 70.99 million votes or 53.15 percent, and Subianto had 62.57 million votes or 46.85 percent.
Subianto's lawyer argued that poll officials -- themselves -- had inflated Jokowi's results. Protestors clad in mostly white and red, the colors of the national flag, chanted slogans while children in military berets and camouflage uniforms waved flags bearing Subianto's image. Other supporters donned black caps with the golden Garuda, a mythical Indonesian bird. As the Friday prayer approached, the men lined up alongside one another facing a barricade before the courthouse, the steps leading to which were covered in police shields.
Subianto's star, however, appears to be fading fast.
A survey of 1,200 people released this week by a Jakarta pollster showed that were the election to be annulled, a new poll would see Jokowi receive 57.06 percent of any new vote, while Subianto would get just 30.39 percent.
The Jakarta Post reported Friday the remainder were now undecided or refused to acknowledge who they would vote for.
Subianto -- reported to model himself on the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk -- is a businessman and heavily decorated lieutenant general, having headed the country's oppressive special forces under General Suharto, while Jokowi -- who resigned his post as mayor of Indonesia's capital city Jakarta to run for president -- is a one time little-known furniture retailer, whose stock began to rise in 2005 when he became the mayor of the central Javanese city of Solo.
By Ainur Rohmah

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