Indonesia: Six Reported Killed in Police Clashes with Election Protesters

Ahmad Syamsudin
190522_ID_Election_Riot_1000.jpg Cars burned by a mob are seen near the Elections Supervisory Agency in Jakarta after protests by supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto turned into a riot, May 22, 2019.

Six people were killed and 200 injured in overnight clashes between Indonesian police and supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said Wednesday.

Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters who had gathered since Tuesday outside the Election Supervisory Agency in central Jakarta to demand action over allegations by the Prabowo campaign of widespread fraud in last month’s election.

“As of 9 a.m., six people have died,” Anies told reporters outside Tarakan Hospital, adding that the bodies were being kept in several hospitals in the city. He did not provide details on cause of death or whether the dead were civilians or police.

He said 200 people were injured in the clashes, and that the city government would cover the cost of their treatment.

Police were checking reports of casualties, national police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal said.

“It should be known that police are not equipped with live bullets,” Iqbal told a news conference. “If anyone used live bullets, they are not police security personnel.”

Incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo garnered 55.5 percent of ballots in the April 17 presidential election, beating Prabowo for the second time in a row, according to the General Elections Commission (KPU), which made the announcement Tuesday, one day earlier than scheduled, amid concerns of mass protests.

Prabowo has refused to concede defeat, saying he would challenge the results which, he continued to allege, resulted from massive and systematic fraud. Prabowo also lost to Jokowi in the 2014 presidential election.

“We will not accept the vote count conducted by the KPU as long as it’s the result of fraud,” Prabowo told reporters on Tuesday.

“We will make every legal effort afforded by the constitution to defend the sovereignty of the people whose constitutional right has been denied in this election,” he said.

Police spokesman Iqbal said 20 people had been arrested for inciting the overnight riot.

“There are indications that some in the crowed were been paid [to incite violence],” he said.

“It was not a spontaneous act. It was by design,” he added.

Protesters threw rocks and firecrackers at riot police. They later set fire to cars and a police dormitory in central Jakarta, according to police and television footage.

Anies urged Jakartans to go about their normal business on Wednesday, saying the violence had been confined to a few streets in the center of the sprawling city.


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