Indonesian presidential challenger appeals election loss

Jakarta riot Police detain at least 20

Jakarta riot Police detain at least 20

Eight people were killed, including three teenagers, while more than 900 were hurt in two nights of rioting and clashes between police and protesters, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and the city health department said.

Police have arrested up to 100 people on suspicion of provoking riots.

"I will not tolerate anyone disrupting the security. or those who disrupt the democratic process or the unity of the country", he told a briefing at the presidential palace.

Official results this week showed Widodo won the election, setting off peaceful demonstrations by Subianto supporters.

Protests erupted in Jakarta following Tuesday's surprise announcement by Indonesia's General Elections Commission, known as the KPU, that Joko Widodo had beat out Prabowo Subinato to secure a second term as president.

Subianto, an elite figure from a wealthy family connected to former dictator Suharto, also lost to Widodo in 2014.

"The bottom line is the people who are protesting and rioting in the past 24 hours represent a small minority of Indonesian voters and a small minority of Indonesian Muslims", said Alexander Arifanto, an Indonesian politics expert at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

Indonesians are also heavy users of Blackberry devices and Whatsapp, with many citizens owning more than one mobile device. It remained unclear who was responsible for their deaths.

Protests that began calmly in the sprawling textile market neighbourhood of Tanah Abang on Tuesday turned violent after nightfall, with police firing tear gas to disperse the crowd.

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Chief security minister Wiranto said the government would temporarily block certain social media functions to prevent inflammatory hoaxes and fake news. He said messaging systems will still work for text and audio but photos and videos will be blocked or slowed.

Authorities said the victims died from gunshot or blunt force trauma, but denied that they fired live rounds on the crowds.

"There is an effort to provoke, to create martyrs, blame the authorities and invoke public anger", he said.

Supporters of the losing presidential candidate throw rocks towards police Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

"They meant to carry out jihad during May 21 and 22 protests", Iqbal said. An ambulance filled with stones was found by police and dozens of people carrying envelopes of money when they were arrested. The minimum wage in Jakarta is about $9 a day.

Authorities say 40,000 police and soldiers have been put on duty across Jakarta to maintain security this week. More than 30,000 troops had been deployed across the city in anticipation of unrest, and the elections commission office was barricaded with razor wire and protected by scores of security personnel. They didn't file a Constitutional Court challenge to the election result on Thursday as planned but have until Friday to do so.

Subianto and his campaign have alleged massive election fraud but not provided any credible evidence. He then called for supports to continue with protests that had been scheduled for Wednesday.

"Avoid areas where demonstrations are occurring & exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gathering", the United States embassy said on Twitter.

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