Jakarta. Residents in the Indonesian capital may be spared a repeat of last month's post-election violence after losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto called on his supporters to stand down, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Tuesday.
The chairman of the opposition Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) is challenging the result of the 2019 election in the Constitutional Court, following weeks of agitation among his supporters, which culminated in mass protests and violent clashes between rioters and police in Jakarta on May 21-22 after the General Elections Commission (KPU) announced the result. Eight people have died and hundreds were injured, including teenagers.
Still, Kalla said he had met with Prabowo on Tuesday and that the opposition leader gave his personal guarantee that there would not be a repeat of last month's incidents. The former Army general reportedly ordered his backers during the meeting to stop arranging mass protests.
"When we met, in front of me, he called on his people to stop all mass gatherings. He ordered them to stop all mass protests," Kalla said.
Police are working to identify a group believed to be behind the chaos and unrest that coincided with last month's protests. They have also detained several key Prabowo allies for treason and an alleged plot to assassinate top government officials.
Kalla said Prabowo had repeated his commitment to uphold the Constitution by challenging the election result in court.
"During the meeting, Prabowo certainly indicated that he wanted to follow the constitutional process. He ordered a stop to all mass protests and promised to follow a constitutional process," the vice president said.
Prabowo's legal team filed an election dispute in the country's highest court two weeks ago, submitting what many view as weak evidence of his camp's claim of "massive and systematic" fraud during the April 17 election.
The court will commence a hearing of the case on June 14 and issue a verdict by June 28.
Regarding a proposed meeting between Prabowo and incumbent President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Kalla said he did not arrange it during Tuesday's meeting. However, he did not rule out the possibility of such a meeting taking place after Idul Fitri.
"It must be possible [after Idul Fitri]. We will try again later, because he was abroad over the past few days," Kalla said, referring to Prabowo's impromptu visits to the Middle East and Europe last week.