Six dead in Indonesia post-election unrest

Dhaka, Wednesday   19 June 2019

Six dead in Indonesia post-election unrest

 International Desk  daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 02:52 PM, 22 May 2019  

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

Six people were killed and 200 others injured during mass rallies against the re-election of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, said Jakarta's governor on Wednesday.

Police said they could not confirm the figure but said they had received information that "some [had] died",

Protests in the capital Jakarta started peacefully on Tuesday but soon turned violent, with cars set on fire and firecrackers thrown at police.

Police in riot gear fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

At a press conference on Wednesday, police did not confirm the figure given by Governor Anies Baswedan, but said they had received information "that some people [were] wounded and some died". It remains unclear what caused the deaths.

National Police Spokesman M Iqbal added that 69 protestors had been arrested following the violence.

"We're concluding from these events that [these] were not spontaneous masses. They want anarchy, creating riots," he said.

The protests erupted after election results showed Mr Widodo had beaten his long-time rival Prabowo Subianto.

The Jakarta governor said hospitals would conduct post-mortems to determine how people had died. 

The country's General Election Commission confirmed on Tuesday that Mr Widodo had won the presidency, taking 55.5% of votes.

Mr Prabowo has rejected the results, alleging cheating.

The ex-general also lost against Mr Widodo at the last election in 2014, and went on to unsuccessfully challenge the results.

More than 192 million people were eligible to vote in the presidential and general elections that took place on 17 April.

After the official results were announced on Tuesday, thousands gathered in front of the election supervisory building in support of Mr Prabowo, but later moved on to other areas across Jakarta after police urged the crowd to disperse, according to BBC Indonesian.

By evening the protests had turned violent.

Local TV stations showed several standoffs between protesters and police in parts of the city.

However, police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told news agency Reuters that the security officers on the ground were not equipped with live bullets.

More than 30,000 troops had been deployed in Jakarta city in anticipation of potential violence. – BBC 

DailyBangladesh/Nishi