Riot-control police should desist from violence: Muhammadiyah

Riot-control police should desist from violence: Muhammadiyah

The situation in KS Tubun Street, West Jakarta, after a clash between demonstrators and security personnel in the area on Wednesday (22/5/2019). ANTARA/Aditya Pradana Putra/aa

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second-largest Muslim organization after Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), has requested the government to instruct security personnel to not resort to violent acts against those protesting the recent election results that can result in fatalities.

The acts of violence not only run counter to humanity and the state ideology Pancasila's second principle but also had the potential to tarnish the image of the government and law enforcers, Muhammadiyah Chairman Buya Anwar Abbas remarked in a press statement that ANTARA received here on Wednesday.

Some six people died in a riot that erupted in Central Jakarta's Tanah Abang area from Tuesday evening to early Wednesday after anti-riot police securing the Elections Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) in Jakarta's Central Business District (CBD) forcibly dispersed several hundred demonstrators when dozens of them tried to break into the building.

The demonstrators expressed their disapproval, as they believed enormous fraud had been committed during the presidential elections whose official announcement was made at the General Elections Commission's (KPU's) plenary session on early Tuesday (May 21).

Abbas cautioned that if security personnel were to continue to adopt repressive and brutal measures against the demonstrators, Indonesia's stability and security would be at stake.

Consequently, Indonesia's economy would also bear the brunt, as business activities of investors and businesspersons would be hindered, and they would be put off.

Hence, to prevent further escalation of the current situation, Muhammadiyah has appealed to the government to adopt prompt and persuasive measures to restore normalcy in the situation, he emphasized.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan had earlier reported the deaths of six people in a riot breaking out in the Tanah Abang area of Central Jakarta. He was quoted by Elshinta Radio as saying that thorough investigation into what had actually transpired on Tuesday evening and early Wednesday is crucial to solving the problem.

He further appealed to different societal elements to allow the political process to be conducted through legal procedures rather than resorting to protesting on the street.

"I also appeal to security personnel to see those keen on expressing their views as citizens. Please follow all procedures. The objective is to protect the people. Let us exercise self restraint and maintain a peaceful condition," he told Elshinta Radio.

Furthermore, the Indonesian police detained at least 20 people on grounds of inciting crowds to behave in an uncontrollable and violent manner in Tanah Abang area, Central Jakarta, from Tuesday evening to early Wednesday.

On early May 21, at 1:28 a.m. local time, the KPU made an official declaration of Joko Widodo (Jokowi) winning the presidential election after the national vote tally concluded.

The final tally indicated that the Jokowi-Maruf Amin pair had secured 85 million votes, or 55.5 percent of the national vote, as compared to contenders Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno's 68 million votes, or 44.5 percent.

The Jokowi-Amin pair had declared victory, while the Prabowo-Sandi pair strongly expressed their rejection and vowed to lodge an official complaint to the Constitutional Court (MK).

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