Six dead after Jakarta poll riots

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 23 May 2019

At least six people were killed as Indonesia's capital erupted in violence when police in riot gear clashed with protesters opposed to President Joko Widodo's reelection.

Dozens were arrested and parts of Jakarta were littered with debris and burned-out cars as the violence triggered security advisories from the US and Australian embassies.

Authorities also restricted access to some social media in a bid to stop the spreading of rumors and fake news.

National police chief Tito Karnavian said six people died, but denied authorities had fired live rounds at the crowd and called for calm.

The violence came after Indonesia's election commission on Tuesday confirmed Widodo, 57, had beaten retired military general Prabowo Subianto for the presidency in a poll on April 17.

Subianto has said he would challenge the results in court, but also warned his claims of widespread cheating could spark street protests.

That was borne out as protesters set market stalls and cars on fire while hurling fireworks and rocks at authorities who ordered them to disperse.

Later, roads were blocked off in parts of the city - with some shopping malls, businesses and schools also closed. More than 30,000 troops had been deployed in anticipation of unrest when the official poll figures were announced.

"I open myself to anyone to work together to build and develop this nation, but I won't tolerate anyone who tries to disrupt public security, the democratic process or the unity of our... country," Widodo said at a press briefing.

Nearly 70 demonstrators were arrested.

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