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Indonesia Constitutional Court establishes panels to resolve election disputes

[JURIST] The Indonesian Constitutional Court (MK) [official website, in Indonesian] on Monday established three panels to review disputes regarding the country's April 9 legislative elections. The MK and the General Elections Commission (KPU) [official website, in Indonesian] formed the panels [Antara News report] in expectation of challenges to the election results, announced [Reuters report] by the KPU on May 9, including accusations of electoral fraud. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) [party website; in Indonesian], Indonesia's largest opposition party, won the election with 18.95 percent of the popular vote but failed to secure the necessary 25 percent of the vote necessary to place their candidate as president without a coalition with other parties.

The former chief justice of the MK was arrested [JURIST report] on corruption charges in October, having allegedly accepted over $250,000 USD in bribes that may have been linked to disputed elections. In March 2013 Christof Heyns [official profile], UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, urged [JURIST report] Indonesian authorities to restrict the use of capital punishment, claiming that more than half of death penalty sentences are handed down for drug charges. A group of UN human rights experts in February 2013 called on Indonesia to amend a bill they claim would unfairly limit the rights of assembly, speech and religion of private organizations.

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