Jakarta protesters disperse after second night of post-election unrest

Jakarta protesters disperse after second night of post-election unrest
  • Clock-gray 07:35
  • calendar-gray 23 May 2019

Calm returned to the streets of central Jakarta on Thursday after a second night of clashes between security forces and protesters angry over the outcome of last month’s election, which handed Indonesian President Joko Widodo a second term, APArpeorts quoting Reuters.

Downtown areas of the capital became a battlefield of tear gas, rubber bullets, rocks and firecrackers overnight, with protesters tearing up slabs of pavement, destroying street signs and setting fire to food stalls and a security post.

However, their numbers thinned as the night wore on and police spokesman Dedi Praseyto said the last remaining protesters had dispersed by 7 a.m. (0000 GMT).

Roads that were quiet on Wednesday as office workers stayed away from the city center were abuzz with rush-hour traffic, all but one of the city’s MRT stations were open and government workers in orange overalls swept debris off the streets.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said six people were killed in the first night of rioting, which was concentrated in the sprawling textile market neighborhood of Tanah Abang. State news agency Antara reported that three hospitals had treated more than 350 people for injuries.

The unrest followed an announcement by the General Election Commission confirming that Widodo had beaten his challenger, former general Prabowo Subianto, in the April 17 poll.

Widodo won more than 85 million of 154 million votes cast but Prabowo alleged “massive cheating and irregularities” and refused to concede defeat. The election supervisory agency has said there was no evidence of systematic cheating and independent observers have said the poll was free and fair.

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