Sun, 22 Sep 2019

Clashes in Jakarta in Wake of Election

Voice of America
22 May 2019, 17:06 GMT+10

JAKARTA - One person was killed in Jakarta Wednesday as supporters of Prabowo Subianto, the former army general who lost the election, clashed with the security forces.

Protesters refused to disperse as police tried to persuade them to leave saying that it's Ramadan and they should refrain from committing violence during the holy month. The protesters even set fire to a police dormitory and vehicles. The police finally used tear gas to disperse the protesters.

National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told VOA that protests turned violent Tuesday night and continued until early Wednesday. Dozens of people were arrested.

On Tuesday, another police spokesman M. Iqbal, told journalists that police will not use live bullets to control the demonstration.

Indonesia's Election Commission on Tuesday confirmed that Indonesian President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, has been re-elected with 55.50% of the vote, defeating former army general Prabowo. The victory was confirmed by the General Elections Commission (KPU). Prabowo, a four-time presidential candidate who is associated with the traditional political elite and hard-line Islamists, captured 44.50%.

Prabowo released a statement via video on Tuesday, urging his supporters to show their support peacefully. "Our steps should be constitutional, democratic, peaceful, without any violence! Those who still believe in me and my friends here... we fight not for personal benefit, but for the sovereignty of the people, for democracy, for independent Indonesia, to be free from occupation in any form."

Prabowo refused to accept the results and declared himself the winner. In his first news conference Tuesday morning, he said that his campaign team plans to challenge the election in the Constitutional Court. He alleged massive fraud but provided no credible evidence.

Former Indonesia president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyonoy - one of the parties that support Prabowo - also released a video Tuesday night. He said Indonesians should be grateful and relieved that there were no riots or violence during the election announcement. "I pray to God that a peaceful, safe and orderly atmosphere can be maintained. Although people should be given their right to express their opinions, including protests (of the election's result), the key is that any protest should be carried out in a responsible, orderly and peaceful manner."

Jakarta police spokesman , Argo Yuwono, told VOA that at least 50,000 police have been deployed in anticipation of the planned riots.

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