The Constitutional Court’s rejection of losing ticket Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno’s legal challenge to the presidential election result marked the end of the coalition supporting the pair’s candidacy, National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman Zulkifli Hasan said. 

In a written statement issued on Thursday evening, Zulkifli said the former Army general, who lost to incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in the April election, had given the go-ahead for political parties in the coalition to go their separate ways after the court issued its final and binding ruling.  

Zulkifli added that he had spent about three hours with the Gerindra Party patron on Thursday afternoon — while the court’s nine justices read out the ruling — during which talk about the fate of Prabowo’s coalition emerged. 

Pak Prabowo told me that the Constitutional Court’s final decision [will also] mark the end of the coalition,” he said as quoted by kompas.com. 

The PAN politician went on to say that Prabowo had given his consent to the parties, which technically included PAN, Gerindra, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the Democratic Party, to “take their own initiatives” in the future. 

Ever since voting day concluded on April 17, the Democrats and PAN have appeared to be detaching themselves from the opposition coalition, with executives from both parties asserting that they would wait for the General Elections Commission’s (KPU) official election result before taking any action. 

Their stances were different to that of Gerindra, which persistently refused to accept the KPU’s final vote tally because of allegations that the commission had rigged the election in Jokowi’s favor. 

However, speculation is rife that talks have intensified between the ruling and opposition coalition regarding the possibility of Gerindra joining the government coalition. 

Zulkifli went on to say that PAN would hold a meeting in the near future to decide the party’s future course. “We will schedule it later,” he said. 

The Constitutional Court rejected Prabowo’s petition challenging the KPU’s official election result over allegations of widespread electoral fraud. 

The justices ruled on Thursday that the plaintiffs had failed to present valid evidence to back up their allegations of fraud and had failed to elaborate clearly on how the alleged vote-rigging attempts were related to the votes secured by each presidential candidate. (afr)