JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – National police break thousands of anti-Joko Widodo protesters, who had gathered at the headquarters of the election supervisory agency, with tear gas and water canon on Wednesday morning. The police estimated, big mass rally is expected to occur again today with more and more participants arriving from the other region.
Starting 11 p.m local time, riots began when the police had ordered the protesters to go home three times but they insisted to stay, forcing officers from anti-riot unit to fire tear gases. The protesters fought back by throwing rocks, glass bottles as well as firecrackers.
The protesters are supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, who refused to accept the results of 2019 presidential elections announced by the General Elections Commission (GEC) on early Tuesday.
The commission declared Joko Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin as the winners of the presidential election. They won 55.5 percent of the vote, 11 percent more than their contender, Subianto – Uno, who has continued to reject the result, citing election fraud.
The crowd has been gathering in front of the election watch agency since mid-day on Tuesday. Some of them returned home around 9 p.m., but the rest choose to stay and started acting anarchist.
Police have said earlier that protesters will allow conveying their aspirations in the form of rallies only until Ramadan evening prayer. Protesters provoked security officers and some of them tried to enter Agency office but failed. Police arrested some of the protesters, but no details were provided.
Anti-riot police had to shoot tear gases at least twice and went after the participant of the rally, as they pushed the crowd into Tanah Abang textile market direction. “You have violated the law by fighting law enforcement officers,” police warned the crowd.
Residents in the surrounding area were urged to stay home. Many of them forged barricade entrances in front of their residential areas. Some protesters ignited the fire and burned several objects throughout the Tanah Abang market areas. The fire department immediately came to extinguish the fire.
Several protesters were arrested for questioning by the police, as the law enforcer is still working to find provocateurs. Police said on Tuesday that some of the groups heading towards Jakarta from other regions had bad intentions and that street rallies, expected to intensify on Wednesday, were not a spontaneous movement.
It also reported that they were organized and the mobilization of protesters was well planned.
“Some of the people who were trying to come (to Jakarta) planned to commit anarchic acts, not just hold peaceful rallies,” national police spokesman Inspector General Mohammad Iqbal told reporters yesterday.
Iqbal added: “One example is a group nabbed in East Java that had Molotov cocktails. There were other groups that brought flags and bamboo poles, whose top edges were sharpened, and slingers.”
A number of protesters, with suspicious objects in their possession and trying to reach Jakarta, had already been intercepted by police and were not allowed to continue with their journey.
Last week, police said they had detained dozens of militants, including several who had sworn allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They were said to be planning to stage attacks against the police and other people during street rallies.
Subianto’ campaign team released a video early on Tuesday morning, called on supporters to keep up protests against the election result but to do so peacefully and constitutionally.
In the video, Subianto and members of his campaign team sit cross-legged facing the camera. The former Army general stuck to his familiar rhetoric, claiming that the election was fraudulent.
“We understand that the people are worried. We are concerned about the huge fraud that was committed throughout the election,” Subianto said.
“This is not a matter of winning or losing. Its not the problem for one individual, but a very fundamental problem: the sovereignty of the people. People’ rights are being robbed. Their rights are being raped,” said the contender.
Subianto opined, that those planning to carry out violence are not his real supporters, adding that “the difficult path is the path taken by warriors.
“We don’t want violence in Indonesian politics. Taking the non-violent path may be difficult, but history has proved that sometimes the difficult path will bring goodness to all. If you are provoked, I urge you not to retaliate,” he said.
Subianto also rejected the accusation that not recognizing the results of the 2019 presidential election is an act of treason. “We have no intention of [committing] treason, there is no intention from us to break the law. Instead, we want to protect the law, we want to uphold truth and justice,” he ended.
Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: email@example.com