The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he backed the police’s decision to restrict events of an anti-Jokowi movement known under its Twitter handle #2019GantiPresiden (Change the president in 2019) in several cities.
He said that, while Indonesia was a democratic country, there were some limitations to the freedom of expression.
“Yes, this country is a democratic country. Everyone has the right to assemble and have their own opinion, but remember that there are limitations to it and rules to follow, okay”, he told reporters after attending a NasDem Party event in Jakarta on Saturday, as quoted by tempo.co.
Jokowi lauded the police’s decision to dissolve the #2019GantiPresiden declaration to maintain public order, as the event was deemed to have the potential to spark riots between supporters and opponents of the incumbent.
Police officers dissolved events in several cities, including Pekanbaru in Riau and Surabaya in East Java, because of the risk of commotion.
On a similar note, NasDem Party chairman Surya Paloh deemed the declaration to be “inappropriate to be expressed in public, because it could hurt the feelings of people with different political preferences.”
Regarding a verbal attack on Jokowi by presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto concerning the depreciating rupiah, Surya recommended that Jokowi simply respond to his critics with a smile.
“If the [opposition candidate] was the leader today, would the US dollar fall today? I’m not so sure,” he said in response to Prabowo’s comment about the rupiah falling in value to Rp 14,700 per US dollar recently. (ris)