'Empty' and sole candidate voters clash during Makassar final count
The Jakarta Post
A physical clash escalated on Sunday between sympathizers of sole candidate Munafri Arifuddin-Andi Rahmatika Dewi (Appi-Cicu) and "empty candidate" supporters during the vote recapitulation for the district-level Makassar mayoral election in South Sulawesi.
Ballots in Wednesday's regional elections included an empty box without a candidate in regions where only a sole candidate pair were running.
The clashes took place at around 11 p.m. local time on Sunday in two different locations, at the Mariso and Bontoala district offices, kompas.com reported. Metro TV video journalist Faisal Wahab was reportedly wounded by a rock that was hurled while he was covering one of the clashes.
The incident began when Appi-Cicu supporters observed acting Mariso district head Juliawan arriving at the district office, where the final vote count was taking place on Sunday evening. A clash then erupted between Appi-Cicu and "empty candidate" voters following suspicions over alleged manipulation of the C1 forms, which records the final vote count.
The angry mob later expelled Juliawan from the district office, but the situation continued to escalate.
The arrival of dozens of Pemuda Pancasila (PP) youth organization members in their orange-and-black camouflage uniforms aggravated the situation. Tension between the two opposing groups grew, and they started throwing rocks at each other.
Metro TV's Faisal, who was covering the vote recapitulation, was wounded by a rock that hit his forehead, and was treated at Makassar's Bhayangkara Hospital.
Clashes also broke out as the final vote count commenced on Sunday in several other areas, including in the districts of Tallo and Tamalanrea. (stu/ebf)
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