Indonesia election protests turn violent
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/22/19, 10:56 am
At least six people died in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta during violent protests by supporters of an unsuccessful presidential candidate Tuesday night. Outside the country’s Elections Commission, protesters burned cars and threw rocks at police officers, who responded with tear gas and water cannons. Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan said about 200 people sustained injuries. Authorities have detained at least 20 people since Tuesday.
The commission on Tuesday declared incumbent President Joko Widodo the winner with 55.5 percent of the votes. His main opponent, retired Gen. Prabowo Subianto, who aligned himself with hardline Muslim groups during the campaign, secured 44.5 percent. Subianto rejected the outcome and is expected to challenge the result in court.
On Wednesday, the communications and information technology ministry said authorities temporarily blocked Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter to prevent the spread of inflammatory content as the stand-off with police continued in Jakarta. Widodo condemned the violence, saying, “I will work together with anyone to advance this country, but I will not tolerate anyone who disrupts the security, democratic processes, and unity of our beloved nation.”
Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.