Published: Thu, May 23, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Demonstrators clash with police over after President Joko Widodo reelected in Indonesia

Demonstrators clash with police over after President Joko Widodo reelected in Indonesia

Protests on Tuesday by supporters of Widodo's challenger for the presidency, former general Prabowo Subianto, started peacefully but turned violent in the evening, forcing police to fire tear gas to disperse the crowd.

The official result released by the General Election Commission (KPU) confirms unofficial counts by private pollsters of the April 17 election, giving Widodo a comfortable victory, though it could trigger a legal challenge and potential street protests after Prabowo claimed widespread cheating.

Protests erupted in Jakarta following Tuesday's surprise announcement by Indonesia's General Elections Commission, known as the KPU, that Joko Widodo had beat out Prabowo Subinato to secure a second term as president.

Numerous 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.

Authorities are already on high alert, having arrested some 30 would-be suicide bombers who had planned to target the elections and subsequent protests.

KompasTV, an Indonesian news channel, showed protesters throwing rocks, facing off against hundreds of riot police in a neighbourhood in the centre of the capital.

The win threw the spotlight on his opponent, Mr Prabowo Subianto, who refused to concede as his supporters gathered in the capital in protest against the result.

Chief security minister Wiranto said access to social media was going to be partly blocked - including photo and video sharing - to limit Internet hoaxes. But now officials say they've tabulated the vote from more than 800,000 polling places in the large and predominantly Muslim country.

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Widodo reportedly beat Subianto by 17 million votes, or roughly 15 percent of the country's population.

Karnavian said, "This is what we have to make clear, where and why".

In the past week, authorities have arrested three pro-Subianto activists on suspicion of treason.

"After we're sworn in. we will be president and vice president", Widodo told reporters in Jakarta with running mate Ma'ruf Amin at his side.

The worst rioting occurred outside the headquarters of Indonesia's elite Brimob police unit in Tanah Abang, just west of Jakarta's central business district. On Tuesday, Prabowo continued to challenge the vote, and vowed to take his case to the constitutional court.

"There will be protests from disappointed (Subianto) supporters but I don't think it'll be significant", said Syamsuddin Haris, a political analyst at the Indonesian Sciences Institute.

The front of the elections commission office was barricaded with razor wire and protected by scores of security personnel Tuesday, after Subianto warned that mass demonstrations could break out if he lost.

"I hereby decided and set the final KPU decision on results of elections on president and vice president, central parliament members, regional representatives members, provincial parliament members, regency/municipal parliament members in 2019 elections", KPU Chairman Arief Budiman said here.

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