Protesters perform afternoon prayers during a clash with riot police in Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday. (Antara Photo/Galih Pradipta)

PSI Calls for Arrest of Political Elites Orchestrating May 22 Mass Protests


MAY 22, 2019

Jakarta. The Indonesian Solidarity Party, or PSI, has called on the National Police to take firm action against those behind the violent protests in Jakarta over the past two days. 

"The police don't need not hesitate. Arrest political elites who are provoking people to take to the streets and cause trouble. [Taking] firm action against the figures behind the riots is an important step in restoring security," PSI spokesman Andy Budiman said in a statement on Wednesday.

In a democratic country, the state has an obligation to ensure the safety of all citizens, he added.

"Democracy does not mean that people can do whatever they want. Democracy is based on legal principles and respect for the rights of those harmed by acts of violence. There is a strict boundary between expressing opinions, which is legal in a democratic country, and violent acts that disturb the public order," the PSI spokesman said.

Losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his camp have refused to recognize the results of the 2019 election.

Prabowo said on Tuesday that his camp would not accept the election result "as long as it comes from fraud." He also asked his supporters to not give up, but denounced any form of violence during the protests.

Supporters of Prabowo and his running mate Sandiaga Uno have been taking to the streets over the past two days to protest the election results, announced early Tuesday.

Clashes between riot squads and protesters have occurred in several areas in Jakarta, resulting in hundreds of people being injured, according to police. 

The police also are investigating the cause of death of six protestors who died early Wednesday. Police said they did not carry live ammunition when engaging rioting protestors, but that they have confiscated sharp objects and firearms from 69 people who have been detained since Tuesday.