University of Indonesia alumni rallied at the Constitutional Court on Friday. (Antara Photo/M. Risyal Hidayat)

Protesters Defy Prabowo's Order to Stay Away From Election Dispute Trial

BY :BAYU MARHAENJATI & NUR YASMIN

JUNE 14, 2019

Jakarta. Hundreds of yellow-vested protesters calling themselves the "National Movement for People's Rule" held a peaceful rally at the Constitutional Court on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta on Friday.

The group of protesters, dominated by women, brandished posters and banners. Their march to the Constitutional Court was only stopped by a razor-wire barricade erected on the road.

The posters and banners featured criticisms which seemed to be directed at recently re-elected President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. "We reject fraud and injustice," "People need justice," "We want justice," "No cheating with the judiciary," "Save Indonesia from foreign powers," "Investigate deaths of more than 600 election officials," some of them said.

Some in the group claimed they were alumni of one of the most prestigious universities in the country, the University of Indonesia, famous for their yellow jackets uniform. 

This group spent most of their time during the protest singing national anthems including "Padamu Negeri" ("To You My Country") and "Maju Tak Gentar" ("Forward and Undaunted").

Rally organizer Abdullah Hehamuhua said the protesters were not there to support any side in the election dispute, between Jokowi and his challenger Prabowo Subianto, but to make sure the Constitutional Court "carry out their duties professionally."

Abdullah said the protesters also included university students from Jakarta, alumni of the "212" protest in 2016 and members of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).

The last two groups were supporters of Prabowo Subianto in the presidential election. They came to the Constitutional Court despite an order from Prabowo to stand down and avoid a street protest

Prabowo and his running mate Sandiaga Uno chose to skip the hearing today, unlike in 2014 when Prabowo also challenged Jokowi's win. Back then, Prabowo delivered a short speech in front of the judges.  

Security was tight around the court. Around 48,000 police officers and soldiers were deployed to guard the Constitutional Court and roads around the National Monument. 

 

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