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Jakarta Post

‘It’s provocateurs’: Prabowo camp rejects blame for Jakarta riots

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 22, 2019   /   03:51 pm
‘It’s provocateurs’: Prabowo camp rejects blame for Jakarta riots  Black smoke rises in the Slipi area of West Jakarta on the afternoon of May 22. Several fires have broken out during post-election riots that started on Tuesday night. (JP/Donny Fernando)

The campaign team of Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno has denied responsibility for the deadly riots that started during a rally involving supporters of the losing candidates in Jakarta on Tuesday and that have continued on Wednesday. 

“It was provocateurs who did the violent acts. From the beginning, Prabowo has called for a peaceful rally,” presidential campaign team spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simandjuntak said when arriving at Prabowo’s private residence on Jl. Kertanegara in South Jakarta on Wednesday.

“We call on all parties to stay calm," he said. "The police should not use weapons and should not arrest the protesters. The public should not be easily provoked.”

As of 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Prabowo, who condoned plans by his supporters to take to the streets in Jakarta to protest the official results, had yet to make any statements regarding the riots. He is believed to be discussing a plan to bring his election dispute to the Constitutional Court.

Gerindra deputy chairman and campaign team member Fadli Zon blamed the police for using excessive force against the protestors. “We should also call on the authorities to not easily take actions that can provoke the protesters, such as destroying [cars]. Prabowo wants all parties to calm down,” he said.