Police officials stand guard outside the offices of the General Elections Commission (KPU) in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Monday. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Police Require Election Protesters in Central Jakarta to Disperse After Ramadan Evening Prayer

BY :FAROUK ARNAZ

MAY 21, 2019

Jakarta. The National Police said it would allow supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto to gather in front of the offices of election-related agencies in Central Jakarta to express their disappointment with the election results, but that all protestors would be required to disperse after the Ramadan evening prayer, which is at around 9 p.m.

"The deadline, the latitude given to the people, is until tarawih [Ramadan evening prayer]. After that, please don't disturb those wanting to perform the prayer; don't disturb the peace," National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo told reporters on Tuesday.

Participants were also asked to obey the law and to refrain from any provocation.

"If this [order] isn't obeyed, and the deadline given is not heeded, then, in accordance with Law 9 of 1998, Article 15, the National Police can disperse the crowd," he said, referring to the Law on Freedom of Expression.

No Camping Outside KPU Offices

Dedi also said nobody would be allowed to camp in front of the offices of the General Elections Commission (KPU) and that participants should go to the nearest mosque if they wish to perform the evening prayer.

"At the latest, after tarawih, everyone must disperse. That's the latitude given by the authorities," he said.

Police have been placed on the highest level of alert until the weekend in anticipation of planned mass action by Prabowo supporters, which could spark civil unrest. The authorities have also tightened security after uncovering a plot by radical groups to take advantage of the heightening political tension to launch terrorist attacks.

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