The Jakarta Post
Vice President Jusuf Kalla has called on presidential contender Prabowo Subianto and running mate Sandiaga Uno to help ease tensions after post-election protests turned into a riot in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.
The rally, which was held in protest of presidential election results that confirmed incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s victory with running mate Ma’ruf Amin, began on Jl. MH Thamrin but spread to Tanah Abang and other nearby areas.
“We are hoping that leaders of the nation, including Pak Prabowo and Pak Sandiaga, will echo the calls for calm,” Kalla told journalists on Wednesday.
More violence and destruction would only hurt the economy and negatively impact the people of Indonesia, he warned, pointing to the riots of May 1998 as an example.
Kalla added that if Prabowo and Sandiaga directly addressed the protesters to calm them down, tensions would de-escalate.
“This is our priority. Therefore, I am also hoping that there will be a dialogue and calm discussion,” he said.
The government was also ready to meet with the country’s political figures, including those in the opposition coalition to discuss the current conditions, Kalla said, adding that he was currently trying to organize such a gathering.
Protests by supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo turned into a riot in front of the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) building on Jl. MH Thamrin in Central Jakarta nearing midnight on Tuesday.
The unrest continued until Wednesday afternoon as protesters burned a police dormitory in Petamburan and moved to Slipi in West Jakarta.