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Jakarta Post

Jakartans turn Bawaslu building into sightseeing destination

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, May 24, 2019   /   04:08 pm
Jakartans turn Bawaslu building into sightseeing destination The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) building on Jl. MH Thamrin in Central Jakarta. (Wikimedia Commons/musnahterinjak)

The area in front of the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) in Central Jakarta saw a different crowd on Thursday night.

A sharp contrast to protestors who had packed the street on Tuesday and Wednesday to rally against the 2019 presidential election results, the crowd on Thursday night and early Friday morning comprised curious Jakartans who were there for some sightseeing.

Many could be seen taking pictures of the Bawaslu building, which is located on Jl. MH Thamrin, while others enjoyed the various street food provided by vendors nearby.

“Jakarta is rarely this quiet. Tonight, we can see all the skyscrapers and the Bawaslu building where the [May 22] riot took place,” a visitor named Nurman said on early Friday as quoted by antaranews.com.

Nurman went on to say that rows of barbed-wire fences on the road served as a unique background for selfies. 

“I was bored at home, so I decided to come here to see the [site] of the riots," he said. 

Jl. MH Thamrin is one of the capital's main roads and home to office buildings, shopping malls and restaurants. The road sees heavy traffic on a daily basis but has been relatively empty because of recent riots that had escalated from protests against President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s reelection.

Street vendors selling instant coffee and fritters seized the opportunity on Thursday night to stay open later than usual. 

"If we do business this late at night in the Monas [National Monument] area, we would be asked to go. But here, we can carry on all night long,” said otak-otak (fish cake) seller Abdul Hakim. (vla)