Indonesian president’s reelection sparks protests
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/21/19, 09:58 am
Indonesian authorities braced for protests Tuesday after the opposition rejected President Joko Widodo’s electoral victory. The Electoral Commission confirmed that Widodo received 55.5 percent of the votes, while his main opponent, retired Gen. Prabowo Subianto, secured 44.5 percent. Some 154 million Indonesians participated in the electoral process that spanned 17,000 islands and about 800,000 polling stations.
Subianto claimed the vote involved widespread cheating and said he would contest the result in the nation’s Constitutional Court, campaign official Sufmi Dasco said. Independent observers reported the vote was free and fair.
Subianto’s supporters planned demonstrations on Wednesday, which is when the commission initially planned to release the results. Supporters from other regions also traveled this week to the capital, Jakarta, to join the protests. Police deployed about 32,000 officers across the city and set up barbed wire and water cannons outside the Electoral Commission ahead of any unrest. On Friday, security officials said they detained dozens of suspected Islamic State (ISIS)–linked extremists who planned to target rallies.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.