Indonesia increases security personnel in Jakarta after protests

Indonesia deployed thousands of soldiers and police officers in Jakarta on May 23 after protests in opposition of the official results of the country’s recent presidential election turned violent.
Indonesian police patrol Jakarta in May 22 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Indonesian police patrol Jakarta in May 22 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Earlier the same day, a police station and booths at a crossroads in Sabang, Jakarta, were burned by protesters. Crowds congregated around the fires, making it hard for fire fighting forces to extinguish them. 

Protesters also reportedly threatened to throw petrol bombs at security forces.

Disturbances also broke out in front of the building of Indonesia’s Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) after a crowd threw bottles and fireworks towards security forces. Police have been deployed and have used tear gas to control the crowds.

Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Sandiaga held a press conference with reporters and supporters on May 22.

In his speech, Prabowo conveyed his condolences to families of the clashes’ victims. He called on all supporters to avoid all forms of violence that could inflame conditions during the month of Ramadan.

He underlined that incidents of violence that tarnish Indonesia’s dignity should not occur again. 

A total of 257 rioters were arrested after protests, said Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono, adding that many others are likely to be arrested if protests continue. 

Speaking at a press conference, Argo claimed that the arrested rioters were not supporters of Prabowo, but they were paid to provoke disturbances and attack police. 

At least six people were killed and more than 350 injured in violent protests that took place after the General Elections Commission (KPU) of Indonesia on May 21 announced the final results of the 2019 presidential and parliament elections.

President Joko Widodo was re-elected for the second term after he won 55.5 percent of votes, compared to 44.5 percent for his rival, former General Prabowo.

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