Asia Minute: Violence Follows Indonesian Election Results

May 23, 2019

Supporters of Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto throw rocks at riot police during a clash in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Indonesian President Joko Widodo said authorities have the volatile situation in the country's capital under control after six people died Wednesday in riots by supporters of his losing rival in last month's presidential election.
Credit AP Photo/Dita Alangkara

At least half a dozen people in Jakarta have been killed in rioting over the past several days. The protests followed the release of the official results of Indonesia’s presidential election.

The official election results in Indonesia were no surprise.

Incumbent Joko Widodo won re-election with more than 55% of the vote – beating the same candidate he did in 2014. The losing candidate was Prabowo Subianto, a former army general who challenged the results, just as he did five years ago.

Widodo’s victory margin was wider this time than the last election, and the country’s election commission has rejected any allegations of fraud or other wrongdoing.

Demonstrations protesting the results started peacefully, but then turned violent.

Police responded with force in several parts of the capital — firing tear gas. The national police chief says at least half a dozen people were killed — although the exact circumstances of those deaths were not immediately clear.

The governor of Jakarta says more than 200 others were injured.

The voting for president, parliament and various other offices took place five weeks ago on April 17th.

Including local and regional races, there were more than 245,000 candidates, and more than 190 million registered voters.

The election commission says roughly 80% of those registered turned out to vote.