Indian Catholic News

Security tight ahead of Indonesian poll dispute hearing

Subianto urges supporters to stay at home to avoid repeat of rioting in May.

Barbed wire blocks access to the Constitutional Court building in Jakarta on June 13, the day before a hearing starts on Indonesia’s disputed presidential election. (Photo by Konradus Epa/

Indonesian police have beefed up security at the Constitutional Court in Jakarta ahead of a hearing on the presidential election dispute on June 14.

The legal challenge to overturn the presidential election result was filed by defeated candidate Prabowo Subianto last month, who says the election, in which President Joko Widodo won a second term, was rigged.

National Police chief spokesman Asep Adi Saputra told local media that about 32,000 police and military personnel will guard the court and other sensitive buildings during the hearing.

He said security will remain tight until at least June 28 when the court is expected to give its ruling.

He called on people to stay away from the court and not engage in violent scenes similar to those seen during May 21-22 rioting in the capital.

Two days of rioting by Subianto’s supporters after the General Elections Commission officially announced President Widodo’s April election victory left at least eight people dead and more than 700 injured.

Subianto has also urged his supporters not to go to the court during the hearing, asking them “to trust us [as] we will do our best for this state and nation.”

Since the rioting, a former two-star general along with at least five other people have been arrested in connection with a plot to assassinate four top security officials.

Police claim former general Kivlan Zen was the mastermind behind the plot.

Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has assured that the situation in the Indonesian capital will remain calm. However, he called on security personnel to take strict action against anyone fomenting unrest.

Lucius Karus, a Catholic political analyst, welcomed the court’s decision to hold a public hearing in this case in order to dispel accusations of court prejudice.

“So there should be no need to hold a massive protest,” he told

Stanislaus Riyanta, an intelligence analyst from the University of Indonesia, warned the security threat in the capital remains high even though anti-terror police have arrested dozens of suspected terrorists since January this year.

“If rioting re-occurs, there is always a great risk that terrorists might infiltrate the crowd,” he said.

Source: UCAN

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