Chief Security Minister Wiranto said the government had 'enough evidence' to suspect that the orchestrators of this week's violent rallies around the national legislative complex in Jakarta had sought to occupy the legislature and prevent President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo from being sworn in for a second term. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Gov't Says Violent Rallies Aim to Prevent Jokowi From Being Sworn In for Second Term

BY :ROBERTUS WARDI & HERU ANDRIYANTO

SEPTEMBER 26, 2019

Jakarta. The chief security minister said on Thursday that the government had "enough evidence" to suspect that the orchestrators behind this week's violent rallies around the national legislative complex in Jakarta had sought to occupy the legislature and prevent President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo from being sworn in for a second term.

Thousands of students staged rallies across the country, targeting mainly government buildings in provincial capitals to protest the revision of the law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), accusing lawmakers and the government of undermining the national antigraft agency.

But the authorities suspect different groups of people had taken over the actions in Jakarta before Monday evening, as the rallies became more violent.

"We have enough evidence indicating that they wanted to occupy the House of Representatives and People's Consultative Assembly, to prevent the national legislature from doing its job, meaning that [the president] cannot be inaugurated," Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto told a press conference at his office in Jakarta.

"We regret that the peaceful demonstrations had been taken over by brutal mobs. They didn't stage rallies, because they turned violent. They fought law enforcement officers, threw stones and firecrackers at them, and seemingly intended to inflict casualties," he said.

The president is scheduled to be sworn in on Oct. 20.

Wiranto said the student rallies were peaceful until the afternoon, when different groups of people took over.

He added that the violent rallies may continue over the next few days, involving various elements – from high school students and football supporters to labor unions and militant groups – "who were being incited to fight law enforcers." 

"According to information, there will be a new wave of protests. I say this so that we remain vigilant," the retired Army general said.

"As it already happened yesterday, they incited high school students to face off against the security forces. Any casualty could trigger chaos and a greater degree of protest against the legitimate government," he added.

The minister did not say which groups were behind the protests.

Riot police defend the national legislative complex during Tuesday's violent rally in Senayan, Central Jakarta. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Riot police defend the national legislative complex during Tuesday's violent rally in Senayan, Central Jakarta. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said at the same occasion that the recent violent rallies resembled the violent protests in Jakarta in May this year against the result of the April presidential election.

"The peaceful rallies by students have been hijacked by other parties who have their own agenda – political agenda – aimed at toppling the legitimate government," Tito said.

"Their actions bear a striking resemblance to the violent rallies on May 21-22 as they took place from the afternoon until late at night. They worked systematically, meaning that their actions were organized," he said.

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