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Jakarta Post

Post-election protests escalate in Pontianak

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 22, 2019   /   01:40 pm
Post-election protests escalate in Pontianak Pontianak residents watch as a traffic police post burns during a post-election protest on May 22. (kompas.com/File)

A series of post-election protests escalated in Pontianak, West Kalimantan as an unknown party set fire to a police post on Wednesday.

A group of people carrying firecrackers reportedly gathered at the intersection of Jl. Tanjung Raya near a traffic police post in East Pontianak district and set fire to the post on Wednesday morning.

“Yes, a traffic police post did get burned,” West Kalimantan Police spokesman Sr. Adj. Comr. Donny Charles Go said as quoted by kompas.com.

As of 11 a.m., the group was still gathered at the intersection under the Kapuas I Bridge.

The National Police and Indonesian Military (TNI) have cordoned off access to the bridge, causing traffic congestion in the vicinity.

A number of riot police officers were stationed near the bridge to maintain public order and safety.

Meanwhile, members of the public also took to the streets in North and East Pontianak, causing significant congestion in the area.

West Kalimantan Police chief Didi Haryono urged the public to maintain order and safety amid post-election protests.

“We call on the public to maintain unity with one another; uphold diversity as strength,” Didi said as quoted by Antara news agency.,

He said everyone should carry on with their daily activities as the final results of the presidential election had been announced by the General Elections Commission (KPU). “Do not let political differences drive us apart,” Didi added.

Previously, the West Pontianak Police urged the public not to lend credence to misinformation circulating on social media. “Please remain calm and do not be influenced by misinformation,” police spokesman Donny said.

Police officers and military personnel were dispatched to maintain order on Jl. Tanjungpura, Jl. Pahlawan, and Jl. Imam Bonjol near the Kapuas I Bridge in East Pontianak.

Donny said the police had arranged alternative routes to reduce traffic congestion. “Traffic remains normal so far,” he said.

West Kalimantan Malay Cultural Council chairman Chairil Effendy called on the public to accept the final presidential results with an open mind. “The final election results were derived from the voice of the people,” Chairil said, adding that it would be unwise if people were to voice their disappointment through violence and anarchy.

Post-election riots also broke out on Wednesday morning in Jakarta following the KPU’s final vote tally announcement in the early hours of Tuesday.

The National Police and TNI have deployed around 40,000 personnel to guard the KPU, Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), Presidential Palace, legislative complex and embassies. (rfa)