Defense minister optimistic about public response to election dispute`s resolution

Defense minister optimistic about public response to election dispute`s resolution

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro (ANTARA FOTO/Puspa Perwitasari)

Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan province (ANTARA News) - Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro expressed optimism that there will be no riots in Indonesia after the Constitutional Court (MK) announces its final verdict for the 2014 presidential election dispute next Thursday (Aug 21).

"We have observed the situation. So far, everything is running smoothly. And I am sure tomorrow (Aug 21), everything will run smoothly too because I believe that the people understand how democracy works," said Purnomo on Wednesday after the inauguration of the Indonesian militarys newest ship, KRI Banjarmasin-592.

However, he emphasized that security personnel will remain alert for signs of rioting after the trial at the MK concludes. Purnomo claimed he had contacted the chief of the National Police, General Sutarman, to discuss the current security situation in Indonesia.

Security will be beefed up around the MK building ahead of the final hearing of the presidential election dispute on Thursday (Aug 21), General Sutarman stated here last Tuesday.

"Starting today (Aug 19), we will tighten security arrangements around the MK building. Some 2.2 thousand personnel will be deployed in strategic positions," Sutarman remarked.

The police will also be deployed at other strategic locations such as shopping malls and the National Monument, which is located next to the MK building in Central Jakarta, Sutarman noted.

On the possibility of closing main roads leading to the MK building, Sutarman explained that this will depend on the situation in the field.

On July 22, the General Elections Commission officially announced that the Jokowi-JK pair had won the 2014 presidential election.

The Jokowi-JK pair received 53.15 percent of the votes, while the Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa pair garnered 46.85 percent of the votes.

However, Prabowo had rejected the result, alleging massive fraud during the elections, and announced his withdrawal from the election process.

On July 25, the Prabowo-Hatta pair filed a lawsuit at the MK, challenging the presidential election result.

By law, the MK must issue a verdict no later than August 21, 2014.

Reporting by Ulul Maskuriah
Translating and Editing by Amie Fenia Arimbi