/Six dead, mass arrests as Jakarta election protests turn violent

Six dead, mass arrests as Jakarta election protests turn violent

Updated

May 22, 2019 14:52:43

Six people have died and 200 have been injured in civil unrest in the Indonesian capital after the election commission confirmed President Joko Widodo had won last month’s election, according to Jakarta’s Governor.

A small group of hardcore supporters of unsuccessful presidential candidate and retired special forces general Prabowo Subianto clashed with riot police at several locations in central Jakarta, burning vehicles — including a police bus — and throwing rocks at police using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons.

“As per 9:00am, there were 200 people hurt being brought to five hospitals,” Governor Anies Baswedan told broadcaster TVOne.

“The number of people dead was six,” he said, adding hospitals were conducting post-mortems to determine the cause of death.

The worst rioting occurred outside the headquarters of Indonesia’s elite Brimob police unit in Tanah Abang, just west of Jakarta’s central business district.

“As of now, police have arrested more than 20 people we thought were the provocateurs and who did other crimes,” police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said.

Mr Subianto refused to accept the election results and declared himself the winner, while his campaign announced plans to challenge the election in the Constitutional Court.

They allege massive fraud but have provided no credible evidence.

Mr Widodo’s chief of staff, retired general Moeldoko, said Mr Subianto’s team was challenging the result through the correct channels but there was a “systematic effort from a certain group … taking advantage of this situation” and trying to escalate tensions.

He urged the public not to get involved.

“There’s an attempt to make the situation worse,” Dr Moeldoko said.

“This is clearly an attempt to cause unrest. I can firmly say that because the legal effort is ongoing, but there are groups that would like to see the situation gets worse and worse.”

More to come.

Topics:

world-politics,

government-and-politics,

indonesia,

asia

First posted

May 22, 2019 14:25:14