Protesters, police clash in second night of post-election protests in Indonesia

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian police fired water cannon and rubber bullets at protesters setting fires and trying to breach barbed wire barricades on Wednesday as demonstrations over the outcome of the presidential election hit the capital for a second night.

The riots followed an announcement on Tuesday by the General Election Commission (KPU) confirming that President Joko Widodo had beaten his challenger, former general Prabowo Subianto, in the April 17 poll.

Widodo won more than 85 million votes of 154 million cast, but retired general Prabowo has alleged “massive cheating and irregularities” and refused to concede defeat.

The election supervisory agency dismissed claims of systematic cheating, citing a lack of evidence. Independent observers have said the poll was free and fair.

Protesters gathered outside the election supervisory agency in central Jakarta. Some arriving carried wooden poles and some had smeared toothpaste around their eyes, a practice commonly carried out to eliminate the effects of tear gas.

Many left peacefully but as night fell others hurled firecrackers and other objects at officers and set blazes as they tried to breach the barbed wire separating them from police.

Police responded with rounds of tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.

Medics were seen treating dozens of protesters affected by tear gas and using oxygen to revive some who had passed out.

On Tuesday, the Tanah Abang area had also seen protests turn violent after nightfall. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said by Wednesday morning six people had been killed and 200 wounded.

Widodo warned of tough action against those instigating riots.

“I will not tolerate anyone disrupting the security … or those who disrupt the democratic process or the unity of the country,” he told a briefing at the presidential palace.

Chief security minister Wiranto said the government would temporarily block certain social media functions to prevent inflammatory hoaxes and fake news.

Indonesian authorities say 40,000 police and army personnel are on duty across Jakarta to maintain security. Many office buildings, businesses and embassies in downtown Jakarta were closed, as were train stations in the area.

“WE KNOW WHO IS BEHIND THIS”

Police said at three locations in the capital 257 suspects had been detained who were suspected of starting riots.

Prabowo called for peaceful protests and restraint.

Riot police officer aims tear gas to protesters during a riot near the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

“I urge all sides, the people who are expressing their aspirations, the police, the military and all sides to refrain from physical abuse,” he told a briefing.

Many of the protesters appeared to have come from outside Jakarta and police found envelopes containing money on some of the people they searched, national police spokesman Muhamad Iqbal told a news conference.

“This is not a spontaneous incident, this is something by design. There are indications that the mobs are paid and bent on causing chaos,” he said.

Later at a news conference, police displayed suspects in orange jumpsuits as well as petrol bombs, makeshift arrows, sickles and cash in envelopes.

The KPU on Tuesday confirmed unofficial counts by private pollsters that gave Widodo a 55.5% share of votes against 44.5% for Prabowo.

A Prabowo campaign official said they planned to contest the result in the Constitutional Court on Thursday. Prabowo also launched a legal challenge after he was defeated in the 2014 election by Widodo, which was unsuccessful.

Analysts have said Widodo’s double-digit margin of victory means the opposition does not have a strong case to claim rigging, but Islamist supporters of Prabowo could cause considerable disruption.

Islamist groups, many of which support Prabowo, have in the past been able to mobilise mass support.

From late 2016, they organised a series of protests against then-Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the first ethnic-Chinese Christian to hold the job, who was subsequently jailed for insulting the Koran.

Slideshow (51 Images)

Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said he believed there was “a systematic effort by a certain group … that is riding on the situation to muddy the situation”.

“We know who is behind this,” he said.

Of the six reported fatalities, a 30-year-old man was killed due to a blunt force trauma, said Dr. Sumariyono at the Cipto Mangunkusumo hospital in Jakarta. Another man died of bullet wounds, news website Tirto.com reported, quoting a doctor at another hospital.

National police chief Tito Karnavian said reports of the deaths were being investigated. Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said security forces, including military personnel, were not armed with live bullets.

Additional reporting by Wilda Asmarini, Kanupriya Kapoor, Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Gayatri Suroyo, Fransiska Nangoy, Ed Davies, Fanny Potkin; Writing by John Chalmers and Ed Davies; Editing by Alison Williams

Source

more recommended stories

  • South African court impounds Tanzanian plane in compensation case – lawyer

    DAR ES SALAAM/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South.

  • Hong Kong protests met with tear gas; China frees UK mission staffer

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong.

  • Global disputes likely to thwart unity at G7 summit in France

    BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – Leaders of.

  • Thousands march in Hong Kong; China frees UK mission worker

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong.

  • North Korea’s latest short-range missile launch complicates U.S. attempts for talks

    SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea fired.

  • Lithuanian human chain links anti-Soviet and Hong Kong protesters

    VILNIUS (Reuters) – As protesters formed.

  • EU countries agree to share out Ocean Viking migrants

    BRUSSELS/MILAN (Reuters) – Six European Union.

  • Billionaire industrialist and conservative donor David Koch dies at age 79

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Billionaire industrialist David.

  • The sky never goes dark while the Amazon burns

    HUMAITA, Brazil (Reuters) – There are.

  • Half a century on, Soviet message in a bottle found in Alaska

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Tyler Ivanoff, an.

  • Japan says ending intelligence pact shows South Korea fails to appreciate North Korean threat

    FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Defence Minister Takeshi.

  • Ocean Viking rescue ship awaits port access in latest migrant standoff

    MILAN (Reuters) – Two charities running.

  • French mayors ban glyphosate weedkiller, defying government

    RENNES, France (Reuters) – Some 20.

  • Ukraine, EU oppose Trump’s suggestion of readmitting Russia to G7

    KIEV/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president backed.

  • Israel eases rules on cyber weapons exports despite criticism

    TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israel is.

  • Dutch government considers major investment push – paper

    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch government.

  • Washington Governor Inslee withdraws bid for U.S. Democratic presidential nomination

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington state Governor.

  • U.S. charges Kansas researcher over ties to Chinese university

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A researcher at.

  • Canada’s Trudeau says won’t back down in dispute with China, urges restraint in Hong Kong

    OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister.

  • Nigeria’s Buhari assigns cabinet portfolios, appoints new oil minister

    FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

  • More than 2,000 people displaced, 19 killed in Myanmar fighting

    YANGON (Reuters) – More than 2,000.

  • Moderate Islamists make new power quest in Tunisia

    TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s moderate Islamists.

  • Ex-Vatican treasurer Pell to learn fate on child sex offences appeal

    George Pell arrives at the Supreme.

  • China hopes U.S. will come back to the table at Chile climate talks

    By Natalia A. Ramos Miranda and.

  • Syrian army poised to take key town after rebel withdrawals

    BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian government forces.

  • U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo says ISIS strong in some areas -CBS

    FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State.

  • Tensions build on migrant ship off Italy; 10 jump overboard

    MADRID/LAMPEDUSA (Reuters) – Tensions rose on.

  • Space telescope offers rare glimpse of Earth-sized rocky exoplanet

    (Reuters) – Direct observations from a.

  • U.S. envoy offers farm visas to boost asylum deal with Guatemala

    GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – In a.

  • In retrial, El Salvador acquits woman accused of killing her stillborn child

    CIUDAD DELGADO, El Salvador (Reuters) –.

  • Washington cannot influence China’s decisions on Hong Kong – Global Times tabloid

    FILE PHOTO: Anti-extradition bill protesters march.

  • Polish opposition unites in bid to wrest Senate from ruling nationalists

    WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish opposition parties.