Deadly protests have broken out in Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, on Tuesday, following an announcement from the General Election Commission. At least six people have died in the violent clashes which erupted overnight between police and citizens protesting against Mr Widodo securing a second term following last month’s general elections. And more than 200 people have been wounded so far, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan told TVOne today.
Police warned they are expecting more angered voters to arrive in Jakarta to demonstrate, with clashes set to continue.
They added some protesters are carrying wooden sticks and have toothpaste smeared around their eyes to try to protect them from tear gas.
Jakarta Police Chief Tito Karnavian said evidence showed those who died had been hit by gunshots or blunt instrument.
Police spokesperson Dedi Prasetyo added security forces had not been armed with live ammunition, possibly suggesting officers were not responsible for those deaths.
According to reports published by The Guardian, protesters were armed with rocks, Molotov cocktails and burning projectiles.
Police confirmed officers used tear gas and water cannons.
The outburst of violence pushed both the US and UK Governments to issue a safety alert to their citizens.
On its Foreign Travel advice web page, the UK Government wrote: “Following the official announcement of the general election results on May 21 there have been demonstrations in central Jakarta, some of which have resulted in violence.
“The Indonesian authorities expect the demonstrations to continue and have put in place security personnel and some road closures.
“Expect significant traffic disruptions in areas where demonstrations occur.
“Demonstrations may also take place in other cities on the islands of Java and Sumatra.
“You should avoid all protests, demonstrations and political rallies as there’s a risk of violence.”
Similarly, the US Embassy urged all American citizens to stay away from the multiple sites in the centre of Jakarta where violence had broken out.
Mr Widodo, who according to the Election Commission received 55.5 percent of the votes counted, said he won’t “tolerate anyone disrupting the security or unity of the country, or those who disrupt the democratic process.”
The president won against Prabowo Subianto, a former general who gathered 44.5 of the votes counted running a populist campaign.
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