Protest Turns Violent at Southeast Sulawesi Governor’s Swearing In

By : webadmin | on 8:05 PM February 19, 2013
Category : Archive

Farouk Arnaz

The city police in Kendari have arrested two people following a protest against the swearing in of the Southeast Sulawesi governor, which turned violent and left several cars vandalized, an officer said on Tuesday.

National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto said the rally on Monday was initially peaceful but suddenly turned violent.

“The two both come from the Alliance of the People and Students (ARM), which had previously held a protest at the Southeast Sulawesi Legislative Council building,” Agus said.

He said one police car and one private car were damaged in the unrest, and a health services vehicle was set alight.

The protesters were demanding that Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi cancel the inauguration of Nur Alam and Saleh Lasata as Southeast Sulawesi governor and deputy governor, respectively, whom they accuse of corruption.

The protest started at around 11:00 a.m. and involved some 500 people. The group had already been received by a commission of the Southeast Sulawesi Legislative Council and were given an explanation on the matter. At about 1:00 p.m. the mob disbanded, but part of the group proceeded to damage the three cars and a police post.

The protest followed one on Thursday, in which the demonstrators went to the legislative council and demanded that the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) look into suspicions that Nur had levied illegal revenues and demanded illegal contributions from third parties.

Nur was sworn in for his second five-year term on Monday after being re-elected last year. His victory was challenged by a rival candidate, but the Supreme Court has since ruled in his favor.

While still in his first term, Nur issued a gubernatorial regulation requiring all companies working in natural resources, energy and mineral resources, and agriculture, as well as construction firms working on government projects, to contribute to provincial coffers.

Activists, including the ARM, have said the gubernatorial regulations provided an opportunity for graft and have called on the government and the KPK to look into the matter.