A group of nongovernmental organizations plan to file a joint lawsuit challenging former special forces commander Prabowo Subianto’s presidential candidacy on human rights grounds.
Jakarta. A group of nongovernmental organizations plan to file a joint lawsuit challenging former special forces commander Prabowo Subianto’s presidential candidacy on human rights grounds.
A coalition of rights organizations — the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor (Imparsial), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Setara Institute — on Tuesday said they were set to file a lawsuit with the State Administrative Court (PTUN) accusing the General Election Commission (KPU) of abdicating its mandate to review potential candidates’ records.
YLBHI director Bahrain called on the KPU to be more transparent in its approval process.
The KPU made its evaluation based on a letter of good behavior (SKCK) issued by the police — a process that Bahrain said constituted far less than due diligence for a candidate like Prabowo with a checkered military past.
“Especially since we know how Prabowo’s track record, how could it be he passed with only a SKCK?” he asked, as reported by Indonesian news portal Tempo.com. “In addition, there is Prabowo’s dismissal letter … why did KPU not see that?”
The lawsuit, he said, was based on a 2008 election law stipulating that approved candidates must not have committed major crimes or engaged in disgraceful conduct. Bahrain said it would be filed by next week.
Prabowo’s rights record has come to the forefront of the public discourse surrounding the candidate in recent days with the leak of a controversial letter from his military days and the with the issue featured prominently in the first presidential debate on Monday.
Prabowo — who is chairman of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) — has denied committing rights abuses, including 13 alleged kidnappings, and has characterized the military’s actions as security measures to safeguard the 1997 elections and the 1998 People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) general meeting.
The presidential election is set for July 9.