Angry supporters of unsuccessful Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto have resorted to violent protests in the streets of Jakarta. The city’s governor reported six people killed and many more injured.
Protests in the streets of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, turned violent on Tuesday night, with police reportedly using tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators who had set fire to vehicles and a police dormitory.
Anies Baswedan, the govenor of Jakarta, was quoted by local media as saying six people had been killed and 200 injured. There has not yet been official confirmation from police.
The protests began Tuesday afternoon, when thousands of supporters of Prabowo Subianto gathered outside the headquarters of the Indonesian election commission in Jakarta after official election results were released confirming the victory of Subianto’s rival, Joko Widodo.
Indonesian National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said clashes with police began Tuesday night and continued through into Wednesday morning, adding that at least 20 people had been arrested.
Images broadcast on Indonesian television and social media showed demonstrators throwing flaming objects at riot police as smoke filled the air. As of mid-morning on Wednesday, live broadcasts showed demonstrators still on the streets of Jakarta.
Indonesian police said they had deployed more than 30,000 police across Jakarta in anticipation of violent protests. There have yet to be any reports of casualties involving demonstrators or police.
The country’s security minister said the government will also restrict access to social media to prevent the spread of fake news. “To avoid provocations, the spread of fake news through the community, we will limit access to certain features on social media,” said Wiranto, who goes by one name.
Subianto does not accept defeat
The initial protest reportedly ended peacefully, but tensions between police and demonstrators escalated after demonstrators refused to leave the area around the election headquarters and began throwing objects at security forces.
Subianto’s supporters accuse President Widodo’s campaign of electoral fraud. Subianto has refused to accept the election results, and has declared himself the winner of presidential election that was held on April 17.
According to the Indonesian Election Commission, Widodo won the election by a margin of about 10%.
Subianto’s campaign has said they will challenge the election results in Indonesia’s constitutional court, although they have provided no evidence to back up their claims.
wmr/se (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)