Newly re-elected Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo promised firm action against rioters on Wednesday after six people died and 200 were injured in overnight clashes in the nation’s capital between police and supporters of defeated challenger Prabowo Subianto.
Authorities arrested dozens after anti-riot police lobbed tear gas and fired water cannons to disperse demonstrators outside the Election Supervisory Agency in central Jakarta, officials said.
Later in the day, the government imposed restrictions on social media to prevent the spread of fake news, security minister Wiranto told reporters.
“I’m open to cooperating with anyone for the sake of our nation’s progress, but I will not tolerate those who seek to undermine the security, democratic process and unity of our beloved nation,” Jokowi told a news conference.
“There’s no place for rioters who damage our country. The military and police will take firm action in accordance with the law,” he said, adding that authorities had placed the volatile situation under control.
Prabowo, a retired army general, on Wednesday urged his supporters to protest peacefully, reiterating his message from a day earlier to those demonstrating against the official results of the April 17 election that were announced Tuesday.
“I call on all parties, citizens who are protesting, the police and the military to refrain from engaging in physical violence and religious leaders and netizens from engaging in verbal provocation,” he told reporters.
More than two dozen vehicles were burned in several neighborhoods in central Jakarta as protesters, who alleged that widespread fraud occurred in the election, threw incendiary firebombs known as Molotov cocktails at responding police officers.
“The violence overnight has tarnished our country’s reputation and must not happen again,” Prabowo said.
Full story: BenarNews
Jakarta. Tia Asmara in Jakarta contributed to this report.
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