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Jakarta Post

Thousands of police readied for MK ruling

  • Yuliasri Perdani and Ina Parlina

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 21, 2014   /  08:40 am

The National Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI) have deployed a joint team of approximately 50,000 personnel to deal with possible rioting following the Constitutional Court'€™s (MK) ruling on Thursday on the disputed presidential election result.

National Police chief Gen. Sutarman said on Wednesday that the majority of the security personnel would be dispatched to secure the court on Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta, the State Palace and adjacent business and trading districts, including the Tanah Abang textile market.

The police will also closely monitor 14 spots connecting Jakarta with Banten and West Java to prevent out-of-town protesters from entering the capital.

'€œWe have implemented Alert Level 1 status, meaning that we are readying two-thirds of our capacity to safeguard the Constitutional Court ruling. With this, we hope the public will remain calm and go about their daily activities as usual,'€ Sutarman said Wednesday at the National Police headquarters in South Jakarta.

The security measures in Jakarta will also be supported by 2,100 Mobile Brigade (Brimob) personnel from 10 regional police divisions in Java, Lampung, Jambi, Bengkulu, South Sumatra and East Kalimantan, according to National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Ronny F. Sompie.

Separately, TNI commander Gen. Moeldoko said he would be stationing 23,000 troops to help the police secure Jakarta, especially in those areas where protesters had gathered, as well as business districts and economic centers.

Moeldoko said his personnel were also ready to anticipate any possible security disturbances in the region.

'€œI have briefed regional military commanders. They are all on standby,'€ he said.

Moeldoko also called on supporters of both presidential tickets to stage peaceful demonstrations.

'€œGo ahead, you are allowed to hold a rally; but don'€™t try to be destructive or we will respond harshly,'€ he said.

Around 3,000 people from West and Central Java were expected to join protests in Jakarta on Thursday, according to TNI chief spokesman Maj. Gen. Fuad Basya.

He said military intelligence officers would assist the police in intercepting the protesters on the outskirts of Jakarta.

Fuad added, however, that there was no indication of planned riots in the wake of the court'€™s ruling.

'€œWe don'€™t see any sign of possible rioting. We hope nothing like that happens, but we will be safeguarding all spots,'€ Fuad said at the TNI headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on Wednesday

Court secretary-general Janedjri M. Gaffar said the court was optimistic that everything would proceed smoothly, given all the security measures being taken by the police and military.

Due to the limited capacity of the courtroom, Janedjri also urged all parties concerned to allow only a small number of visitors to enter the courtroom.

'€œThe petitioner [Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa], the respondent [the General Elections Commission or KPU] and other relevant parties are each only allowed up to 20 people in the courtroom, while Bawaslu [the Elections Supervisory Agency] is only allowed to bring five people,'€ he said.

He added that the police would also ensure the safety and security of the court'€™s nine justices throughout the hearing.

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